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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;

Stock News for Autozone (AZO)
12/06/201608:40:00AutoZone Revenue Grows as It Opens More Stores
12/06/201608:27:00AutoZone Revenue Grows as It Opens More Stores
12/06/201607:16:15Current Report Filing (8-k)
12/06/201606:59:00AutoZone 1st Quarter Same Store Sales Increase 1.6%; EPS Increases...
11/21/201617:13:43Current Report Filing (8-k)
10/28/201613:24:09ALLDATA Signs Exclusive Partnership with NIADA to Deliver Cost-Effective...
10/27/201617:50:40Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
10/27/201616:05:00AutoZone to Hold Stockholders’ Meeting December 14, 2016
10/27/201616:05:00AutoZone to Release First Quarter Earnings December 6, 2016
10/24/201616:41:45Annual Report (10-k)
10/24/201616:36:36Proxy Statement (definitive) (def 14a)
10/20/201609:01:00AutoZone Selects BlueCat to Support Growth
10/20/201609:01:00AutoZone Selects BlueCat to Support Growth
10/20/201607:00:00Gabelli Automotive Symposium Keynote to Focus on Internet of...
10/19/201612:44:40ALLDATA Achieves Significant Customer Milestone in North America
10/19/201608:37:00Gabelli & Company’s 40th Annual Automotive Aftermarket Symposium
10/17/201617:33:47Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
10/11/201616:05:00AutoZone to Present at the Upcoming 40th Annual Automotive Aftermarket...
10/04/201613:01:40ALLDATA Manage Online Now Features Integrated WHI/Nexpart Catalog
10/03/201617:38:16Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)

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