How AutoZone Won Big With Q1 Earnings

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AutoZone Inc. (NYSE: AZO) reported its fiscal first-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Tuesday. The company said that it had $9.96 in earnings per share (EPS) and $2.59 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for $9.81 in EPS and revenue of $2.54 billion. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $9.36 and $2.47 billion in revenue.

During the quarter, domestic same-store sales, or sales for stores open at least one year, increased 2.3%.

Over the course of the quarter, AutoZone repurchased roughly 597,000 shares of its common stock for $353 million, at an average price of $590 per share. At the end of the first quarter, the firm had $471 million remaining under its current share repurchase authorization.

AutoZone opened 16 new stores, and closed one store in the United States and opened five new stores in Mexico in this quarter. As of November 18, 2017, the firm had 5,480 stores in 50 states.

On the books, AutoZone cash and cash equivalents totaled $257.7 million at the end of the quarter, up from $195.5 million in the same period last year.

Bill Rhodes, board chair, president and CEO, commented:

This quarter included unprecedented impacts to our operations from natural disasters.  Our AutoZoners, in the affected areas, not only had to work hard to get their personal lives back in order but they also worked tirelessly to reopen our stores very quickly to service our customers who were in need.  The after-effects of these disasters aided our sales by an estimated 50 to 60 bps for the quarter and the total losses from these storms were $9 million resulting in a net negative impact to EPS of approximately $.07.  We were encouraged with the improvement in performance in our first quarter and are pleased with the progress we are making on our various initiatives.  We believe these initiatives will allow us to continue to meet our customers’ needs across all channels.  As we continue to invest capital in our business, we remain committed to our disciplined approach of increasing operating earnings and utilizing our capital effectively.

Shares of AutoZone closed Monday at $709.77, with a consensus analyst price target of $ and a 52-week range of $491.13 to $813.70. Following the announcement, the stock was up about 7% at $750.00 in early trading indications Tuesday.