(AZO) - Get Report

beat third-quarter estimates by a substantial margin as net income grew by 61% and the company continued to trim expenses.

The auto parts retailer earned $102 million, or 96 cents a share, in the quarter, up from $66.7 million, or 59 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call had expected the company to earn 78 cents.

Sales grew 11% in the quarter to $1.225 billion from $1.140 billion in the year ago quarter, while same-store sales grew by 9.5%, down slightly from the second quarter's growth of 12%.

In a press release, AutoZone said it continues "to focus on decreasing costs, through relentless expense discipline." The company also noted that its results were improved by an increase in the number of older cars on the road and the aging SUV and truck population.

The company opened 19 new stores and closed 4 in the U.S., and it opened 4 new stores in Mexico, in which the company "continues to experience very encouraging results."

Shares of AutoZone closed at $72.70 before the earnings release Tuesday.