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AutoZone (AZO) Q3 Earnings & Sales Trump Estimates, Rise Y/Y

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AutoZone Inc. AZO 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.

AutoZone, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

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 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.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

AutoZone currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked players in the auto space include Group 1 Automotive GPI Genuine Parts Company GPC and Standard Motor Products SMP, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), currently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Group 1: Group 1 is one of the leading automotive retailers in the world, with operations primarily located in the United States and the UK. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings and sales implies year-over-year growth of 19.6% and 20%, respectively.

Over the trailing four quarters, GPI surpassed estimates on all occasions, the average surprise being 6.6%. GPI reported first-quarter 2022 adjusted earnings per share of $10.81, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $9.45.

Genuine Parts: Atlanta-based Genuine Parts distributes automotive and industrial replacement parts and materials. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings and sales implies year-over-year growth of 13.6% and 12.2%, respectively.

Over the trailing four quarters, GPC surpassed estimates on all occasions, the average surprise being 11.3%. Genuine Parts reported first-quarter 2022 adjusted earnings of $1.86 per share, topping the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.70.

Standard Motor: Standard Motor is one of the leading manufacturers, distributors, and marketers of premium automotive replacement parts for engine management and temperature control systems. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings and sales implies year-over-year growth of 2% and 6.4%, respectively.

Over the trailing four quarters, SMP surpassed estimates on all occasions, the average surprise being 40.3%. Standard Motor reported first-quarter 2022 adjusted earnings of 92 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 81 cents.


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