AutoZone (AZO) Stock Rating Reaffirmed by Barclays

Barclays reissued their buy rating on shares of AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) in a research note released on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $950.00 price target on the stock.

Several other analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Bank of America downgraded shares of AutoZone from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $830.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Monday, September 17th. Wells Fargo & Co boosted their price target on shares of AutoZone from $800.00 to $850.00 and gave the company a positive rating in a report on Thursday, September 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Royal Bank of Canada lowered their price target on shares of AutoZone from $779.00 to $775.00 and set a sector perform rating on the stock in a 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 target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, August 28th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price target on shares of AutoZone to $880.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Wednesday, September 19th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $866.74.

NYSE AZO opened at $870.16 on Wednesday. AutoZone has a 1 year low of $590.76 and a 1 year high of $894.37. The firm has a market capitalization of $22.20 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.29, a P/E/G ratio of 1.22 and a beta of 0.89.

AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, December 4th. The company reported $13.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $12.21 by $1.26. AutoZone had a net margin of 12.49% and a negative return on equity of 102.31%. The company had revenue of $2.64 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.64 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $10.00 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that AutoZone will post 59.05 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

In related news, insider William R. Hackney sold 5,700 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $870.00, for a total value of $4,959,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 3,998 shares in the company, valued at $3,478,260. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Charles Pleas III sold 9,500 shares of the company’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 sale, 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 have sold 79,687 shares of company stock worth $63,373,093. 2.80% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its holdings in AutoZone by 4.4% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,034,551 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,578,202,000 after purchasing an additional 84,961 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in AutoZone by 0.6% in the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,870,411 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,450,879,000 after purchasing an additional 11,896 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC boosted its holdings in AutoZone by 3.0% in the third quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,353,751 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,050,105,000 after purchasing an additional 39,048 shares in the last quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec boosted its holdings in AutoZone by 6.6% in the second quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 878,313 shares of the company’s stock worth $589,287,000 after purchasing an additional 54,350 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Burgundy Asset Management Ltd. boosted its holdings in AutoZone by 2.3% in the second quarter. Burgundy Asset Management Ltd. now owns 615,202 shares of the company’s stock worth $412,757,000 after purchasing an additional 13,890 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 92.10% of the company’s stock.

About AutoZone

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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