Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) by 1,354.6% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 57,441 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 53,492 shares during the quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. owned approximately 0.22% of AutoZone worth $44,557,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Greystone Managed Investments Inc. grew its position in AutoZone by 1.4% during the second quarter. Greystone Managed Investments Inc. now owns 13,060 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,762,000 after buying an additional 181 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its position in shares of AutoZone by 47.5% in the third quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 103,222 shares of the company’s stock worth $80,070,000 after purchasing an additional 33,226 shares during the period. First Interstate Bank boosted its position in shares of AutoZone by 332.7% in the second quarter. First Interstate Bank now owns 238 shares of the company’s stock worth $160,000 after purchasing an additional 183 shares during the period. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of AutoZone by 13.9% in the second quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 8,320 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,584,000 after purchasing an additional 1,017 shares during the period. Finally, Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of AutoZone in the second quarter worth approximately $203,000. Institutional investors own 94.56% of the company’s stock.
A number of equities analysts have weighed in on AZO shares. Argus dropped their price target on shares of AutoZone to $820.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, August 30th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of AutoZone from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $860.00 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, August 28th. MED upgraded shares of AutoZone from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $675.00 to $805.00 in a research report on Wednesday, August 1st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Deutsche Bank upgraded shares of AutoZone from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $675.00 to $805.00 in a research report on Wednesday, August 1st. Finally, Citigroup upped their price target on shares of AutoZone from $765.00 to $850.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 19th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $790.65.
AZO stock opened at $793.87 on Friday. AutoZone, Inc. has a one year low of $588.56 and a one year high of $802.22. The firm has a market capitalization of $20.20 billion, a PE ratio of 15.11, a P/E/G ratio of 1.10 and a beta of 0.89.
AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, September 18th. The company reported $18.54 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $17.92 by $0.62. AutoZone had a net margin of 11.92% and a negative return on equity of 99.70%. The firm had revenue of $3.56 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.60 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $15.27 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts expect that AutoZone, Inc. will post 58.43 EPS for the current fiscal year.
AutoZone announced that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Wednesday, September 26th that allows the company to buyback $1.25 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to reacquire up to 6.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
In other news, Chairman William C. Rhodes III sold 23,700 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $780.06, for a total value of $18,487,422.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 37,918 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $29,578,315.08. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, VP Charles Pleas III sold 9,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $759.85, for a total transaction of $7,218,575.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 13,862 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,533,040.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 60,487 shares of company stock worth $46,667,608 in the last three months. Insiders own 2.80% of the company’s stock.
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AutoZone Company Profile
AutoZone, Inc retails and distributes automotive replacement parts and accessories. It offers various products for cars, sport utility vehicles, vans, and light trucks, including new and remanufactured automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories, and non-automotive products. The company's products include A/C compressors, batteries and accessories, bearings, belts and hoses, calipers, carburetors, chassis, clutches, CV axles, engines, fuel pumps, fuses, ignition and lighting products, mufflers, radiators, thermostats, starters and alternators, and water pumps.
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