Morgan Stanley Upgrades AutoZone Inc. (AZO) to Overweight
AutoZone Inc. (NYSE:AZO) was upgraded by equities researchers at Morgan Stanley from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report released on Tuesday. The firm presently has a $840.00 price target on the stock, up from their previous price target of $820.00. Morgan Stanley’s price objective suggests a potential upside of 9.50% from the stock’s previous close.
The analysts wrote, “Besides these potential top-line drivers, AZO’s valuation is undemanding, tradingat~16.5x’17e EPS and ~11x EBITDA, which is attractive relative to the business’ low-DD EPS and HSD EBITDA growth. Near-term expectations have been appropriately set with management’s characterization of Q4’s sales pickup as ‘modest.'”The brokerage is not worried much about slowing commercial sales and e-commerce concerns, as top-line growth would outweigh the risk factors. The analyst pointed out that the “change in the seven-year-old vehicle cohort”
Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $870.00 price objective on shares of AutoZone and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, September 17th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of AutoZone from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 1st. Barclays PLC reissued an “overweight” rating and set a $870.00 price objective on shares of AutoZone in a research note on Sunday. RBC Capital Markets reissued a “sector perform” rating and set a $855.00 price objective (down from $873.00) on shares of AutoZone in a research note on Friday, September 23rd. Finally, Wedbush reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $870.00 price objective on shares of AutoZone in a research note on Friday, September 23rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $858.24.
AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) opened at 767.15 on Tuesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $760.44 and its 200 day moving average price is $776.38. The stock has a market capitalization of $22.34 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.85 and a beta of 0.42. AutoZone has a 52-week low of $681.01 and a 52-week high of $819.54.
AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, September 22nd. The company reported $14.30 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $14.25 by $0.05. The company earned $3.40 billion during the quarter. AutoZone had a negative return on equity of 69.23% and a net margin of 11.67%. The company’s revenue was up 3.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $12.75 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that AutoZone will post $45.46 EPS for the current year.
In related news, Director William Andrew Mckenna sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $800.25, for a total transaction of $2,400,750.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 7,597 shares in the company, valued at $6,079,499.25. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Thomas B. Newbern sold 16,870 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $799.82, for a total transaction of $13,492,963.40. Following the sale, the insider now owns 15,977 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,778,724.14. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AZO. Invictus RG raised its stake in AutoZone by 489.7% in the second quarter. Invictus RG now owns 171 shares of the company’s stock valued at $136,000 after buying an additional 142 shares during the period. Global X Management Co. LLC raised its stake in AutoZone by 89.1% in the second quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 174 shares of the company’s stock valued at $138,000 after buying an additional 82 shares during the period. First Personal Financial Services raised its stake in AutoZone by 126.3% in the second quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 215 shares of the company’s stock valued at $171,000 after buying an additional 120 shares during the period. Pennsylvania Trust Co acquired a new stake in AutoZone during the second quarter valued at $200,000. Finally, Rehmann Capital Advisory Group acquired a new stake in AutoZone during the first quarter valued at $207,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 95.55% of the company’s stock.
AutoZone Company Profile
AutoZone, Inc is a retailer and distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories in the United States. The Company’s operating segments include Auto Parts Locations and Other. The Auto Parts Locations segment comprises Domestic Auto Parts, Mexico, Brazil and Interamerican Motor Corporation (IMC).
Receive News & Stock Ratings for AutoZone Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for AutoZone Inc. and related stocks with our FREE daily email newsletter.