AutoZone Inc (AZO): Today's Featured Services Winner

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

AutoZone ( AZO) pushed the Services sector higher today making it today's featured services winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.0%. By the end of trading, AutoZone rose $5.62 (1.4%) to $420.95 on average volume. Throughout the day, 310,314 shares of AutoZone exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 357,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $416.59-$423.46 after having opened the day at $416.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $415.33. Other companies within the Services sector that increased today were: Sport Chalet ( SPCHA), up 33.3%, Sport Chalet ( SPCHB), up 26.5%, Frozen Food Express Industries ( FFEX), up 22.7% and VirtualScopics ( VSCP), up 20.4%.
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AutoZone, Inc. engages in retailing and distributing automotive replacement parts and accessories. AutoZone has a market cap of $15.1 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 17.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate AutoZone a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates AutoZone as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the negative front, StarTek ( SRT), down 21.3%, Torm A/S ( TRMD), down 13.7%, Rada Electronics Industries ( RADA), down 10.9% and XO Group ( XOXO), down 9.6% , were all laggards within the services sector with Ann ( ANN) being today's services sector laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the services sector could consider iShares Dow Jones US Cons Services ( IYC) while those bearish on the services sector could consider ProShares Ultra Short Consumer Sers ( SCC).

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