Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Over the past one year, AutoZone has underperformed the industry it belongs to. Over the past 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current quarter earnings per share has declined. A spate of store openings is raising costs for AutoZone. This is not only adding to capital & operating expenses but also inventory per store. Also increasing frequency of deliveries to its stores to three or five times a week from once is a headwind before it. However, the company’s strong cash flow helps it to open new stores every year and repurchase shares aggressively, without compromising on its financial strength. Also, the average age of cars is rising that creates an increased demand of auto parts.”

A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on AZO. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $590.00 target price on shares of AutoZone in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Credit Suisse Group set a $640.00 target price on shares of AutoZone and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of AutoZone in a research note on Thursday, September 21st. Stephens reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $550.00 target price (down from $620.00) on shares of AutoZone in a research note on Thursday, September 21st. Finally, UBS AG reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $655.00 target price (down from $725.00) on shares of AutoZone in a research note on Wednesday, September 20th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $724.45.

AutoZone (AZO) opened at $638.24 on Tuesday. AutoZone has a 12 month low of $491.13 and a 12 month high of $813.70. The firm has a market cap of $17,546.83, a PE ratio of 14.49, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.18 and a beta of 0.65. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -3.56, a current ratio of 0.97 and a quick ratio of 0.15.

AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, September 19th. The company reported $15.18 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $15.11 by $0.07. AutoZone had a net margin of 11.76% and a negative return on equity of 74.48%. The company had revenue of $3.51 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.49 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $14.30 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 3.3% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that AutoZone will post 46.78 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, Director William Andrew Mckenna sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $584.96, for a total transaction of $1,754,880.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 8,131 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,756,309.76. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Insiders own 2.60% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC acquired a new position in AutoZone during the second quarter valued at approximately $114,000. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. grew its holdings in AutoZone by 3.5% during the second quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 264 shares of the company’s stock valued at $151,000 after purchasing an additional 9 shares during the period. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in AutoZone during the third quarter valued at approximately $179,000. Global X Management Co. LLC grew its holdings in AutoZone by 12.9% during the second quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 323 shares of the company’s stock valued at $184,000 after purchasing an additional 37 shares during the period. Finally, Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd acquired a new position in AutoZone during the third quarter valued at approximately $202,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 98.66% of the company’s stock.

About AutoZone

Autozone, Inc is a retailer and distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories in the United States. The Company operates through the Auto Parts Locations segment. The Auto Parts Locations segment is a retailer and distributor of automotive parts and accessories. As of August 27, 2016, the Company operated through 5,814 locations in the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Brazil.

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