Earnings Preview: AutoZone Reports Earnings On September 19

| About: AutoZone, Inc (AZO)

AutoZone Inc. (NYSE:AZO) is scheduled to report its Q4 2012 results on September 19, 2012, before market opens. The street expects EPS and revenue of $8.45 and $2.82B, respectively.

In this article I will recap the historical results of the company, its latest EPS estimates vs. surprises, the latest news from AZO and the news from its closest competitors.

Recent EPS Actuals vs. Estimates

The company has met or beaten analysts' estimates in the last four quarters. In the last quarter it reported $6.28 EPS, beating analyst estimates of $6.25.

The consensus EPS estimate is $8.45 based on 19 analysts' estimates, up from $7.18 a year ago. Revenue estimates are $2.82B, up from $2.64B a year ago. The median target price by analysts for the stock is $420.00.

Average recommendation: Overweight

Source: Marketwatch

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

  • On June 25, 2012, Deutsche Bank upgraded the company from Hold to Buy.
  • On April 23, 2012, Barclays reiterated Overweight rating for the company.

Latest News

  • On August 10, 2012, AutoZone celebrated the grand opening of its newest store at 1621 E Financial D, in Wasilla, Alaska. This location marks the company's 5,000th store and its entry into Alaska. AutoZone now has stores in 49 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Mexico.
  • On June 29, 2012, AutoZone announced that Michael A. Womack has joined the company as Senior Vice President Human Resources, Customer Satisfaction.
  • On June 13, 2012, AutoZone announced that Ron Griffin has joined the company as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Customer Satisfaction.
  • On May 22, 2012, AutoZone reported net sales of $2.1 billion for its third quarter (12 weeks) ended May 5, 2012, an increase of 6.7% from the third quarter of fiscal 2011 (12 weeks). Domestic same store sales, or sales for stores open at least one year, increased 3.9% for the quarter. Net income for the quarter increased $21.2 million, or 9.3%, over the same period last year to $248.6 million, while diluted earnings increased 18.6% to $6.28 per share from $5.29 per share in the year-ago quarter.
  • On March 7, 2012, AutoZone announced its Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of an additional $750 million of the Company's common stock in connection with its ongoing share repurchase program. Since the inception of the repurchase program in 1998, and including the above amount, AutoZone's Board of Directors has authorized $11.9 billion.


Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP), Genuine Parts Company (NYSE:GPC), O'Reilly Automotive (NASDAQ:ORLY), and Pep Boys - Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE:PBY) are considered major competitors for AutoZone and the table below provides the key metrics for these companies and the industry.

AutoZone Inc. key ratio comparison with direct competitors

The chart below compares the stock price changes as a percentage for the selected companies and S&P 500 index for the last one year period.

AZO Chart

AZO data by YCharts

Competitors' Latest Development

  • On August 20, 2012, Genuine Parts Co declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $.495 per share on the Company's common stock. The dividend is payable October 1, 2012 to shareholders of record September 7, 2012.
  • On June 18, 2012, Pep Boys Manny Moe and Jack announced the resignation of Chief Financial Officer Ray Arthur in order to pursue another business opportunity. Mr. Arthur will continue in his duties until June 29, 2012.
  • On May 30, 2012, Pep Boys Manny Moe and Jack announced that it has agreed to terminate the proposed merger between Pep Boys and The Gores Group. As settlement for any and all potential claims that Pep Boys could assert under the terms of the merger agreement, previously announced on January 30, 2012, The Gores Group has agreed to pay Pep Boys a fee of $50 million and to reimburse Pep Boys for certain merger-related expenses.
  • On May 17, 2012, Advance Auto Parts, Inc. announced that it now anticipates annual comparable store sales will be in the low single digits for fiscal 2012 and are maintained previously communicated fiscal 2012 EPS outlook of $5.55 to $5.75 per share.
  • On April 19, 2012, Genuine Parts Company announced that for fiscal 2012, it expects revenue growth to be 6%-8% and earnings per share (NYSEARCA:EPS) to be $3.93-$4.05. The Company reported revenue of $12.458 billion in fiscal 2011.

Technical Overview

The stock has a market capitalization of $13.17B and is currently trading at $351.99 with a 52 week range of $307.16 - $399.10. The stock's year-to-date performance has been 8.31%. It is currently trading below 20, 50 and 200 SMA.

Sources: Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, Marketwatch, Finviz, Reuters.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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Tagged: , Auto Parts Stores, Earnings
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