Axa Grows Position in AutoZone, Inc. (AZO)

Axa increased its position in shares of AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) by 23.4% in the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 7,914 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,500 shares during the quarter. Axa’s holdings in AutoZone were worth $6,139,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC acquired a new position in shares of AutoZone in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $514,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its position in shares of AutoZone by 59.8% in the 2nd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 8,820 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,918,000 after buying an additional 3,300 shares in the last quarter. BB&T Corp acquired a new position in shares of AutoZone in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $205,000. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of AutoZone in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $203,000. Finally, State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D raised its position in shares of AutoZone by 32.3% in the 2nd quarter. State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D now owns 10,850 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,280,000 after buying an additional 2,650 shares in the last quarter. 95.53% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

AZO stock opened at $825.83 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $21.35 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.41, a P/E/G ratio of 1.18 and a beta of 0.89. AutoZone, Inc. has a 1 year low of $590.76 and a 1 year high of $842.10.

AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, September 18th. The company reported $18.54 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $17.92 by $0.62. The business had revenue of $3.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.60 billion. AutoZone had a net margin of 11.92% and a negative return on equity of 99.70%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $15.27 EPS. Analysts anticipate that AutoZone, Inc. will post 57.97 earnings per share for the current year.

AutoZone declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, September 26th that allows the company to repurchase $1.25 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to purchase up to 6.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

In other AutoZone news, Chairman William C. Rhodes III sold 23,700 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 37,918 shares in the company, valued at approximately $29,578,315.08. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP Charles Pleas III sold 9,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 20th. The shares were 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 owns 13,862 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,533,040.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 60,487 shares of company stock valued at $46,667,608. Corporate insiders own 2.80% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts have recently commented on AZO shares. Bank of America cut shares of AutoZone from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $830.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Monday, September 17th. Wells Fargo & Co boosted their target price on shares of AutoZone from $800.00 to $850.00 and gave the company a “positive” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Royal Bank of Canada lowered their price objective on shares of AutoZone from $779.00 to $775.00 and set a “sector perform” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, September 19th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of AutoZone from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $860.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, August 28th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their price objective on shares of AutoZone to $880.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 19th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $807.07.

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AutoZone Company Profile

AutoZone Inc retails and distributes automotive replacement parts and accessories. The company 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. Its 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, starters and alternators, thermostats, and water pumps.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for AutoZone (NYSE:AZO)

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