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AutoZone (AZO) Q4 Earnings Beat Estimates on Comps Growth

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AutoZone, Inc. (AZO - Free Report) reported earnings of $35.72 per share for fourth-quarter fiscal 2021 (ended Aug 28, 2021), up from the prior-year figure of $30.93. The bottom line also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $30.20. Robust comparable sales growth led to this outperformance.

Net income increased 6.1% year over year to $785.8 million. Net sales grew 8.1% year over year to $4,913.5 million. The top line, moreover, topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4,538 million.

For the reported quarter, domestic commercial sales totaled $1,182.6 million, up from $975.5 million recorded in the year-ago period. In addition, domestic same-store sales (sales at stores open at least for a year) rose 4.3% year over year versus the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a decline of 1.02%.

Gross profit increased to $2,567.8 million from the prior-year quarter’s $2,412.9 million. Operating profit moved up to $1,044 million from $1,018 million registered in the year-earlier period.

AutoZone, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

AutoZone, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

AutoZone, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | AutoZone, Inc. Quote

Store Opening & Inventory

During the fiscal fourth quarter, AutoZone opened 76 stores in the United States, 29 in Mexico and five in Brazil. It exited the quarter with 6,051 stores in the United States, 664 in Mexico and 52 in Brazil. The total store count was 6,767 as of Aug 28, 2021.

AutoZone’s inventory improved 3.7% year over year for the reported quarter on store openings and better product assortment. At quarter-end, inventory per location was $686,000, up from the year-ago figure of $683,000.

Financials and Share Repurchases

AutoZone had cash and cash equivalents of $1,171.3 million as of Aug 28, 2021, down from $1,750.8 million on Aug 29, 2020. Total debt amounted to $5,269.8 million as of Aug 28, 2021, marking a decrease from $5,513.3 million on Aug 29, 2020.

In the fiscal fourth quarter, it repurchased 592,000 shares for $900 million at an average price of $1,519 per share. The company has shares worth $417.6 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 #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.