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AutoZone (AZO) Q3 Earnings Trump Estimates, Surge 84% Y/Y

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AutoZone, Inc. (AZO - Free Report) reported earnings of $26.48 per share for third-quarter fiscal 2021 (ended May 8, 2021), up from the prior-year figure of $14.39. The bottom line also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $19.35. Robust comparable sales growth led to this outperformance.

Net income climbed 73.9% year over year to $596.2 million. Net sales also increased 31.4% year over year to $3,651 million. The top line, moreover, topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,176 million.

For the reported quarter, domestic commercial sales totaled $828.6 million, up from $573.8 million recorded in the year-ago period. In addition, domestic same-store sales (sales at stores open at least for a year) climbed 28.9% year over year.

Gross profit increased to $1,914.9 million from the prior-year quarter’s $1,490.6 million. Operating profit also surged to $803.5 million from $491.7 million registered in the year-earlier period.

Store Opening & Inventory

During the fiscal third quarter, AutoZone opened two stores in the United States, seven in Mexico and one in Brazil. It exited the quarter with 5,975 stores in the United States, 635 in Mexico and 47 in Brazil. Total store count was 6,657 as of May 8, 2021.

AutoZone’s inventory improved 5.1% year over year for the reported quarter on store openings and increased product placement. At quarter-end, inventory per location was $701,000, up from the year-ago figure of $685,000.

Financials and Share Repurchases

AutoZone had cash and cash equivalents of $975.6 million as of May 8, 2021, up from $509.1 million on May 9, 2020. Total debt amounted to $5,267.9 million as of May 8, 2021, marking a decrease from $5,418.3 million on May 9, 2020.

For the fiscal third quarter, AutoZone repurchased 663,328 shares for $900 million at an average price of $1,357 per share. The company has shares worth $1.3 billion remaining in the current repurchase authorization.

AutoZone — whose peers include Advance Auto Parts (AAP - Free Report) , CarMax (KMX - Free Report) and O’Reilly Automotive Inc. (ORLY - Free Report) — currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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