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AutoZone 3Q Profit Rises 12% On Sales, Margin Growth

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES AutoZone Inc.'s (AZO) fiscal third-quarter earnings rose 12% as the largest U.S. auto-parts retailer booked stronger sales and margins, helping results beat analysts' expectations. Analysts have been fretting that high gasoline prices are threatening AutoZone and other retailers as consumers drive less--which gives them fewer broken parts to replace--and trade in old cars for more fuel-efficient models. Earlier this month, smaller rival Advance Auto Parts Inc. (AAP) turned in disappointing fiscal first-quarter results in contrast to the previous few quarters when profits surged as consumers bought parts to extend the lives of older cars. For the quarter ended May 7, AutoZone reported a profit of $227.4 million, or $5.29 a share, up from $202.7 million, or $4.12 a share, a year earlier. Revenue increased 8.6% to $2 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently forecast earnings of $4.98 on revenue of $1.92 billion. Gross margin rose to 51.2% from 50.7% on higher merchandise margin and lower losses from theft. Domestic same-store sales were up 5.3%. Inventory grew 8.9% amid an increase in store count. The company opened opened 43 new stores, closed one store, replaced one store in the U.S., bringing the total to 4,467. Shares of AutoZone--of which hedge-fund billionaire Edward Lampert is a major holder--closed Monday at $276.78 and were inactive premarket. The stock is up 50% in the past year. -By Tess Stynes, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2481; Tess.Stynes@dowjones.com

Stock News for Autozone (AZO)
DateTimeHeadline
03/04/201410:20:32MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Rally; S&P 500 Hits Intraday Record
03/04/201409:42:20Hot Stocks: Hot Stocks to Watch
03/02/201406:18:18MARKET SNAPSHOT: Jobs, Winter Weather To Test Record Stock Levels
12/10/201309:33:06U.S. Hot Stocks Futures: Hot Stocks to Watch
12/10/201307:44:32AutoZone 1st-Quarter Profit Up 7.2% on Continued Sales Growth
11/15/201308:55:36Highbridge Capital Management 3Q 13F: Holdings As -2-
11/15/201308:55:35Highbridge Capital Management 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of Sep 30
11/15/201308:53:17D. E. Shaw & Co. LP 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of Sep 30 -2-
11/15/201308:53:17D. E. Shaw & Co. LP 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of Sep 30
11/15/201308:22:25Janus Capital Management 3Q 13F: Largest Purchases -2-
11/15/201308:22:24Janus Capital Management 3Q 13F: Largest Purchases
11/15/201308:22:24Janus Capital Management 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of -2-
11/15/201308:22:23Janus Capital Management 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of Sep 30
11/15/201308:18:57Farallon Capital Management 3Q 13F: Largest Eliminations
11/15/201308:18:52Farallon Capital Management 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of Sep 30
11/15/201307:07:21Two Sigma Investments 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of Sep 30
11/15/201307:07:21Two Sigma Investments 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of Sep -2-
11/15/201307:04:38Bridgewater Associates LP 3Q 13F: Largest Sales
11/15/201306:39:13CR Intrinsic Investors 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of Sep -2-
11/15/201306:39:13CR Intrinsic Investors 3Q 13F: Holdings As Of Sep 30

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