AutoZone, Inc. (AZO) Receives Average Rating of “Buy” from Brokerages

Shares of AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) have earned a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the seventeen ratings firms that are currently covering the company, Marketbeat reports. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation, eleven have issued a buy recommendation and one has assigned a strong buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year price target among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $875.54.

A number of brokerages recently commented on AZO. Argus lifted their target price on shares of AutoZone from $818.00 to $940.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 6th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of AutoZone from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $975.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, December 10th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of AutoZone from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 11th. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on shares of AutoZone from $760.00 to $800.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 6th. Finally, Deutsche Bank set a $940.00 price objective on shares of AutoZone and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, November 26th.

NYSE:AZO opened at $822.88 on Friday. AutoZone has a 52 week low of $590.76 and a 52 week high of $896.03. The stock has a market capitalization of $20.68 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.35, a PEG ratio of 1.15 and a beta of 0.70.

AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, December 4th. The company reported $13.47 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $12.21 by $1.26. AutoZone had a net margin of 12.49% and a negative return on equity of 102.31%. The business had revenue of $2.64 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.64 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $10.00 EPS. AutoZone’s revenue was up 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that AutoZone will post 59.27 earnings per share for the current year.

AutoZone announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, September 26th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.25 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to buy up to 6.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In other AutoZone news, insider Ronald B. Griffin sold 21,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $844.93, for a total value of $17,743,530.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 21,377 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,062,068.61. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, VP William T. Giles sold 13,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $870.11, for a total transaction of $11,746,485.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 13,119 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,414,973.09. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 53,677 shares of company stock valued at $45,239,219 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 2.80% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AZO. Moody National Bank Trust Division acquired a new stake in shares of AutoZone in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $99,000. Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC increased its position in shares of AutoZone by 222.4% in the third quarter. Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC now owns 187 shares of the company’s stock valued at $145,000 after buying an additional 129 shares in the last quarter. ELM Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in AutoZone during the 3rd quarter worth about $163,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in AutoZone during the 2nd quarter worth about $173,000. Finally, Paragon Capital Management Ltd purchased a new stake in AutoZone during the 2nd quarter worth about $201,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.30% of the company’s stock.

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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Analyst Recommendations for AutoZone (NYSE:AZO)

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