Back to top

Image: Bigstock

AutoZone (AZO) is a Top-Ranked Value Stock: Should You Buy?

Read MoreHide Full Article

Taking full advantage of the stock market and investing with confidence are common goals for new and old investors, and Zacks Premium offers many different ways to do both.

Featuring daily updates of the Zacks Rank and Zacks Industry Rank, full access to the Zacks #1 Rank List, Equity Research reports, and Premium stock screens, the research service can help you become a smarter, more self-assured investor.

Zacks Premium includes access to the Zacks Style Scores as well.

What are the Zacks Style Scores?

The Zacks Style Scores is a unique set of guidelines that rates stocks based on three popular investing types, and were developed as complementary indicators for the Zacks Rank. This combination helps investors choose securities with the highest chances of beating the market over the next 30 days.

Based on their value, growth, and momentum characteristics, each stock is assigned a rating of A, B, C, D, or F. The better the score, the better chance the stock will outperform; an A is better than a B, a B is better than a C, and so on.

The Style Scores are broken down into four categories:

Value Score

For value investors, it's all about finding good stocks at good prices, and discovering which companies are trading under their true value before the broader market catches on. The Value Style Score utilizes ratios like P/E, PEG, Price/Sales, Price/Cash Flow, and a host of other multiples to help pick out the most attractive and discounted stocks.

Growth Score

While good value is important, growth investors are more focused on a company's financial strength and health, and its future outlook. The Growth Style Score takes projected and historic earnings, sales, and cash flow into account to uncover stocks that will see long-term, sustainable growth.

Momentum Score

Momentum trading is all about taking advantage of upward or downward trends in a stock's price or earnings outlook, and these investors live by the saying "the trend is your friend." The Momentum Style Score can pinpoint good times to build a position in a stock, using factors like one-week price change and the monthly percentage change in earnings estimates.

VGM Score

What if you like to use all three types of investing? The VGM Score is a combination of all Style Scores, making it one of the most comprehensive indicators to use with the Zacks Rank. It rates each stock on their combined weighted styles, which helps narrow down the companies with the most attractive value, best growth forecast, and most promising momentum.

How Style Scores Work with the Zacks Rank

The Zacks Rank is a proprietary stock-rating model that harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions, or changes to a company's earnings expectations, to help investors build a successful portfolio.

It's highly successful, with #1 (Strong Buy) stocks producing an unmatched +25.41% average annual return since 1988. That's more than double the S&P 500. But because of the large number of stocks we rate, there are over 200 companies with a Strong Buy rank, plus another 600 with a #2 (Buy) rank, on any given day.

But it can feel overwhelming to pick the right stocks for you and your investing goals with over 800 top-rated stocks to choose from.

That's where the Style Scores come in.

You want to make sure you're buying stocks with the highest likelihood of success, and to do that, you'll need to pick stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 or #2 that also have Style Scores of A or B. If you like a stock that only as a #3 (Hold) rank, it should also have Scores of A or B to guarantee as much upside potential as possible.

Since the Scores were created to work together with the Zacks Rank, the direction of a stock's earnings estimate revisions should be a key factor when choosing which stocks to buy.

Here's an example: a stock with a #4 (Sell) or #5 (Strong Sell) rating, even one with Style Scores of A and B, still has a downward-trending earnings outlook, and a bigger chance its share price will decrease too.

Thus, the more stocks you own with a #1 or #2 Rank and Scores of A or B, the better.

Stock to Watch: AutoZone (AZO - Free Report)

AutoZone, Inc. is one of the leading specialty retailers and distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories in the United States. It operates in the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) retail, Do-It-for-Me (DIFM) auto parts and products markets. At the end of fiscal 2020, the company had 5,885 stores in the United States, 621 in Mexico and 43 in Brazil. Total store count was 6,549 as of Aug 29, 2020. Each store offers wide-ranging products for cars, sport utility vehicles, vans and light trucks, including new and remanufactured automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories, and non-automotive products.

AZO is a #2 (Buy) on the Zacks Rank, with a VGM Score of B.

It also boasts a Value Style Score of B thanks to attractive valuation metrics like a forward P/E ratio of 18.4; value investors should take notice.

One analysts revised their earnings estimate upwards in the last 60 days for fiscal 2021. The Zacks Consensus Estimate has increased $1.39 to $88.76 per share. AZO boasts an average earnings surprise of 20.3%.

With a solid Zacks Rank and top-tier Value and VGM Style Scores, AZO should be on investors' short list.


In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above


Normally $25 each - click below to receive one report FREE:


AutoZone, Inc. (AZO) - free report >>

Published in