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AutoZone (AZO) Up 5.4% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Continue?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for AutoZone (AZO - Free Report) . Shares have added about 5.4% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is AutoZone due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

AutoZone Q3 Earnings & Sales Beat Estimates

AutoZone reported earnings of $29.03 per share for third-quarter fiscal 2022, up 9.6% from the prior-year figure of $26.48. The bottom line also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $25.87. Net sales also grew 5.8% to $3,865.2 million. The top line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,702 million.

In the reported quarter, domestic commercial sales totaled $1,044.3 million, up from $828.6 million recorded in the year-ago period. Domestic same-store sales (sales at stores open at least for a year) rose 2.6% in the quarter under discussion.

Gross profit increased to $2,006.4 million from the prior-year quarter’s $1,914.9 million. Operating profit decreased 2.2% year over year to $785.7 million.

Store Opening & Inventory

During the fiscal third quarter, AutoZone opened 24 new stores, four in Mexico and three in Brazil. It exited the quarter with 6,115 stores in the United States, 673 in Mexico and 58 in Brazil. The total store count was 6,846 as of May 7, 2022.

AutoZone’s inventory improved 13.9% year over year in the reported quarter on store openings. At quarter-end, inventory per location was $776,000, up from $701,000.

Financials and Share Repurchases

AutoZone had cash and cash equivalents of $263 million as of May 7, 2022, down from $975 million on May 8, 2021. Total debt amounted to $6,057.4 million as of May 7, 2022, marking an increase from $5,267.9 million on May 8, 2021.

Under its share repurchase program, AutoZone repurchased 449,000 shares of its common stock for $900 million during the fiscal third quarter, at an average price of $2,006 per share. At the end of the quarter, it had more than $2 billion remaining under its current share repurchase authorization.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

In the past month, investors have witnessed an upward trend in fresh estimates.

VGM Scores

At this time, AutoZone has a great Growth Score of A, though it is lagging a lot on the Momentum Score front with a D. However, the stock was allocated a grade of B on the value side, putting it in the top 40% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Estimates have been broadly trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. Notably, AutoZone has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

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