Wolfe Research Upgrades AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) to Outperform

Wolfe Research upgraded shares of AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) from a peer perform rating to an outperform rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning, Briefing.com Automated Import reports.

AZO has been the topic of several other reports. Credit Suisse Group reissued an outperform rating and issued a $1,350.00 price objective (up from $1,275.00) on shares of AutoZone in a research report on Wednesday, December 11th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. dropped their price objective on shares of AutoZone from $1,310.00 to $1,259.00 and set an overweight rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, March 4th. Nomura dropped their price objective on shares of AutoZone from $1,200.00 to $1,090.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, March 19th. Raymond James raised their price target on shares of AutoZone from $1,250.00 to $1,350.00 and gave the stock a positive rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 11th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada lowered their price target on shares of AutoZone from $1,211.00 to $1,091.00 and set a sector perform rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, March 4th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, thirteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. AutoZone currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $1,232.29.

AZO stock traded down $33.36 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $851.63. The stock had a trading volume of 250,969 shares, compared to its average volume of 471,931. The stock has a market capitalization of $20.67 billion, a PE ratio of 13.05, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.36 and a beta of 0.58. The stock has a 50-day simple moving average of $997.60 and a 200 day simple moving average of $1,109.45. AutoZone has a fifty-two week low of $684.91 and a fifty-two week high of $1,274.41.

AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, March 3rd. The company reported $12.39 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $11.75 by $0.64. The company had revenue of $2.51 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.56 billion. AutoZone had a net margin of 13.42% and a negative return on equity of 95.47%. The company’s revenue was up 2.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $11.49 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that AutoZone will post 65.28 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Michael M. Calbert bought 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 16th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $886.00 per share, with a total value of $1,772,000.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 835 shares in the company, valued at $739,810. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 2.50% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Wealth Quarterback LLC bought a new position in AutoZone in the 4th quarter valued at about $5,333,210,000. FMR LLC boosted its stake in shares of AutoZone by 2.4% in the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,313,822 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,565,169,000 after purchasing an additional 31,283 shares in the last quarter. Fiera Capital Corp boosted its stake in shares of AutoZone by 15.9% in the 4th quarter. Fiera Capital Corp now owns 605,728 shares of the company’s stock valued at $721,610,000 after purchasing an additional 83,222 shares in the last quarter. Boston Partners boosted its stake in shares of AutoZone by 8.0% in the 3rd quarter. Boston Partners now owns 467,735 shares of the company’s stock valued at $507,559,000 after purchasing an additional 34,467 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of AutoZone in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $313,996,000. 91.79% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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