Markets

AutoZone's (AZO) Q4 Earnings Beat on Solid Comps Growth

AutoZone, Inc. AZO reported earnings of $30.93 per share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 (ended Aug 29, 2020), up from the prior-year figure of $22.59. The bottom line also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $24.74. Higher-than-expected comparable sales growth led to the outperformance. Net income rose 31% year over year to $740.5 million. Net sales also increased 14% year over year to $4,545.9 million. The top line also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4,047 million.

Domestic commercial sales totaled $975.6 million, up from $886.5 million recorded in the year-ago quarter. The metric also topped the consensus mark of $906 million. Domestic same-store sales (sales at stores open at least for a year) grew 21.8% year over year, comfortably surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 1.8%.

Gross profit increased to $2,412.9 million from the prior-year quarter’s $2,130 million on the back of higher sales. Operating profit also surged to $1,018 million from $780.7 million registered in the year-ago 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 49 stores in the United States, 11 in Mexico and five in Brazil. It exited the quarter with 5,885 stores in the United States, 621 in Mexico and 43 in Brazil. Total store count was 6,549 as of Aug 29, 2020.

AutoZone’s inventory improved 3.6% year over year for the reported quarter on store openings and increased product placement. At quarter-end, inventory per location was $683,000, up from the year-ago figure of $674,000.

Financials and Share Repurchases

AutoZone had cash and cash equivalents of $1,750.8 million as of May 9, 2020, up from $176.3 million on Aug 31, 2019. Total debt amounted to $5,513.4 million as of Aug 29, 2020, marking an increase from $5,206.3 million on Aug 31, 2019.

During the quarter, the company tapped brakes on the share buyback program amid the coronavirus crisis. For the fiscal 2020, AutoZone repurchased 826,000 shares for $930.9 million at an average price of $1,127 per share. The company has shares worth $796 million remaining in the current repurchase authorization.

AutoZone — whose peers include Advance Auto Parts AAP, CarMax KMX and O’Reilly Automotive Inc ORLY — currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

These Stocks Are Poised to Soar Past the Pandemic

The COVID-19 outbreak has shifted consumer behavior dramatically, and a handful of high-tech companies have stepped up to keep America running. Right now, investors in these companies have a shot at serious profits. For example, Zoom jumped 108.5% in less than 4 months while most other stocks were sinking.

Our research shows that 5 cutting-edge stocks could skyrocket from the exponential increase in demand for “stay at home” technologies. This could be one of the biggest buying opportunities of this decade, especially for those who get in early.

See the 5 high-tech stocks now>>


Click to get this free report

OReilly Automotive, Inc. (ORLY): Free Stock Analysis Report

Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (AAP): Free Stock Analysis Report

AutoZone, Inc. (AZO): Free Stock Analysis Report

CarMax, Inc. (KMX): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Other Topics

Stocks

Latest Markets Videos

Zacks

Zacks is the leading investment research firm focusing on stock research, analysis and recommendations. In 1978, our founder discovered the power of earnings estimate revisions to enable profitable investment decisions. Today, that discovery is still the heart of the Zacks Rank. A wealth of resources for individual investors is available at www.zacks.com.

Learn More