Is AutoZone Poised for New Highs After Earnings?

AutoZone Inc. (NYSE: AZO) reported its fiscal third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Tuesday. The auto parts retailer said that it had $14.39 in earnings per share (EPS) and $2.78 billion in revenue, which tops consensus estimates of $13.68 in EPS on revenue of $2.67 billion. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $15.99 and $2.78 billion in revenue, though.

During the most recent quarter, domestic same-store sales decreased 1.0% year over year, while net sales were practically flat.

Gross profit, as a percentage of sales, was 53.6%, more or less flat compared with the same period last year.

AutoZone opened 21 new stores in the United States and two stores in Mexico. As of February 9, 2019, the chain had 6,484 stores in total.

The company offered no guidance in the report, but consensus estimates call for $20.35 in EPS and $3.74 billion in revenue for the fiscal fourth quarter.

Bill Rhodes, board chair, president and chief executive, commented:

During the third quarter, we experienced the most extreme fluctuations in sales, both negative and positive, in the Company’s more than 40 year history. Because of this extreme volatility and uncertainty around the continued effects of the virus and government and consumer responses, it is difficult for us to forecast short-term results with any degree of confidence. But our team has proven yet again that we can flex our business quickly in this dynamic environment, and we significantly enhanced our liquidity as previously announced.

AutoZone stock traded at $1,147.26 Tuesday morning, in a 52-week range of $684.91 to $1,274.41. The consensus price target is just $1,094.80.