AutoZone Cruises by With Q1 Earnings Beat

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When AutoZone Inc. (NYSE: AZO) reported its most recent quarterly results before the markets opened on Tuesday, the auto parts retailer said that it had $13.47 in earnings per share (EPS) and $2.64 billion in revenue. Consensus estimates had called for $12.21 in EPS and $2.64 billion in revenue, and the fiscal first quarter of last year reportedly had $10.00 in EPS on $2.59 billion in revenue.

Domestic same-store sales, or sales for stores open at least one year, increased 2.7% for the most recent quarter.

Under its share repurchase program, AutoZone repurchased 654,000 shares of its common stock for $497.1 million during the first quarter. At the end of the quarter, the company had $985 million remaining under its current share repurchase authorization.

AutoZone opened 13 new stores and relocated one store in the United States, and it opened three new stores in Mexico. As of November 17, 2018, the company had 5,631 domestic stores.

The company did not offer any guidance for the fiscal second quarter. However, the consensus estimates call for $9.83 in EPS and $2.45 billion in revenue for the quarter.

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

As we entered the quarter, we knew we had difficult comparisons to last year’s first quarter due to the prior year’s sales benefit from three major hurricanes. Our team delivered very solid performance in DIY and our Commercial growth accelerated again reaching our highest growth since 2015. Our industry fundamentals remain strong and we continue to be excited about the initiatives we have underway to further enhance our inventory availability, to continue to accelerate commercial and to meet our customers how, when and where they want to be met with our omni-channel initiatives. As we continue to invest in our business, we remain committed to our disciplined approach of increasing operating earnings and cash flow, and utilizing our balance sheet and capital effectively.

Shares of AutoZone traded up 5.7% early Tuesday at $874.00, in a 52-week range of $590.76 to $842.10. The consensus analyst price target is $835.71.