AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) Sees Large Drop in Short Interest

AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) was the target of a large decrease in short interest in July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 758,300 shares, a decrease of 6.6% from the June 30th total of 811,600 shares. Currently, 3.1% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 258,800 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.9 days.

AutoZone stock traded up $18.32 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $1,078.00. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 203,757 shares, compared to its average volume of 236,600. The company has a 50 day simple moving average of $1,126.00. The company has a market capitalization of $26.31 billion, a PE ratio of 21.41, a PEG ratio of 1.41 and a beta of 0.65. AutoZone has a one year low of $705.01 and a one year high of $1,186.60.

AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 21st. The company reported $15.99 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $15.23 by $0.76. The company had revenue of $2.78 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.77 billion. AutoZone had a negative return on equity of 97.19% and a net margin of 12.70%. AutoZone’s quarterly revenue was up 4.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $13.42 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts expect that AutoZone will post 62.51 earnings per share for the current year.



In other news, Director Earl G. Graves, Jr. sold 250 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $1,021.86, for a total transaction of $255,465.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 4,357 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,452,244.02. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Albert Saltiel sold 1,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $1,114.09, for a total value of $2,005,362.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 1,965 shares in the company, valued at $2,189,186.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 32,907 shares of company stock worth $35,293,228 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 2.80% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in AZO. Voloridge Investment Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of AutoZone by 614.8% during the 2nd quarter. Voloridge Investment Management LLC now owns 12,895 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,178,000 after purchasing an additional 11,091 shares during the last quarter. Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. lifted its stake in shares of AutoZone by 31.3% during the 2nd quarter. Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. now owns 140,078 shares of the company’s stock worth $154,012,000 after purchasing an additional 33,422 shares during the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of AutoZone by 614.8% during the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 195,179 shares of the company’s stock worth $214,593,000 after purchasing an additional 167,873 shares during the last quarter. Mandatum Life Insurance Co Ltd lifted its stake in shares of AutoZone by 20.7% during the 2nd quarter. Mandatum Life Insurance Co Ltd now owns 1,271 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,397,000 after purchasing an additional 218 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Hawaii lifted its stake in shares of AutoZone by 5.7% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of Hawaii now owns 1,234 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,357,000 after purchasing an additional 66 shares during the last quarter. 95.92% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised AutoZone from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $1,156.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Friday, June 7th. Wedbush reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $1,100.00 target price (up previously from $1,030.00) on shares of AutoZone in a research report on Wednesday, May 22nd. CIBC raised AutoZone from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, June 28th. Goldman Sachs Group assumed coverage on AutoZone in a research report on Thursday, July 11th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $1,183.00 target price on the stock. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded AutoZone from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 6th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $1,061.25.

AutoZone Company Profile

AutoZone, Inc retails and distributes automotive replacement parts and accessories. The company offers various products for cars, sport utility vehicles, vans, and light trucks, including new and remanufactured automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories, and non-automotive products. Its products include A/C compressors, batteries and accessories, bearings, belts and hoses, calipers, carburetors, chassis, clutches, CV axles, engines, fuel pumps, fuses, ignition and lighting products, mufflers, radiators, starters and alternators, thermostats, and water pumps.

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