What Analysts Are Saying About Auto Parts Retailers After Wednesday’s Carnage

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The auto parts retail industry took a big hit on Wednesday after O’Reilly Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: ORLY) provided an update ahead of its second-quarter financial results. This update was absolutely catastrophic, and now there is blood in the water. As a result analysts have taken the bait and are thrashing this industry.

O’Reilly wasn’t the only one that suffered. Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE: AAP) and AutoZone Inc. (NYSE: AZO) also saw their shares hit multiyear lows in the wake of this announcement.

As for O’Reilly’s report, the company said that its same-store sales increased only 1.7%, below its previously issued guidance of 3% to 5%. This also fell below the 3.9% consensus estimate at FactSect.

CEO Greg Henslee commented that the company has faced a more challenging sales environment than it expected for the quarter due to continued headwinds. Henslee closed by saying:

We remain confident in the long-term health of our industry and our team’s ability to provide exceptional customer service and take market share in this challenging demand environment.

Analysts seemed to key off the idea of a challenging demand environment in the industry. Wedbush commented:

The company attributed the slowdown to weak consumer demand and knock-on effects from a second consecutive mild winter … but we also pointed to additional pressures including the slowdown in total miles driven growth, declines in miles driven for “sweet spot” 8+ year old vehicles, muted low-end and minority consumer confidence and rising competition from the online channel. We do not expect a sharp reversal in these factors near-term, leaving us neutral on the sector despite the stock price corrections.

Although Wedbush saw most of the industry as remaining Neutral, the firm actually saw a bright spot with one of the companies. The firm has an Outperform rating for Advance Auto Parts with a $150 price target, versus a $105.21 closing price.

Other analysts piled into these auto parts retailers, and price targets were falling across the board:

  • Barclays cut Advance Auto Parts’ price target to $93 from $120.
  • Morgan Stanley cut Advance Auto Parts’ price target to $125 from $160.
  • RBC cut Advance Auto Parts’ price target from $153 to $125.
  • Barclays cut AutoZone’s price target to $710 from $870.
  • Morgan Stanley downgraded AutoZone to Equal Weight from Overweight and cut its price target to $540 from $680.
  • RBC cut AutoZone’s price target price to $577 from $653.
  • Wedbush reiterated a Neutral rating for AutoZone with a $650 price target.
  • Barclays cut O’Reilly’s price target from $300 to $234.
  • Credit Suisse downgraded O’Reilly to Neutral from Outperform and lowered its price target to $195 from $262.
  • Goldman Sachs upgraded O’Reilly to a Neutral rating from Sell.
  • Morgan Stanley downgraded O’Reilly to Equal Weight from Overweight and cut its price target from $290 to $200.
  • Wedbush has a Neutral rating and cut its price target to $195 from $260.

Shares of O’Reilly were last seen trading at $178.99, with a consensus analyst price target of $270.14 and a 52-week range of $177.57 to $292.84.

Advance Auto Parts shares were trading down 1.3% at $103.82. The stock has a 52-week range of $103.57 to $177.83 and a consensus price target of $154.19.

AutoZone traded at $517.75, within a 52-week range of $504.01 to $819.54. The consensus price target is $736.82.

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