|11:40 EDT||AAP, PRTS, PBY, ORLY, AZO||AutoZone stalls after Q3 results in-line with expectations|
Shares of automotive replacement part and accessory retailer AutoZone (AZO) are slipping after the company reported third quarter earnings per share and revenue which were mainly in-line with analysts' consensus. WHAT'S NEW: AutoZone reported third quarter earnings per share of $8.46, which narrowly beat analysts' expectation by one cent. The company reported third quarter revenues of $2.34B, which mirrored what analysts were anticipating. The retailer also noted that its same-store-sales for the quarter rose 4%. WHAT'S NOTABLE: During the company's third quarter earnings conference call, Autozone said it was "well positioned" to grow overall company sales in the fourth quarter. It is planning to open a "modest" number of new company hubs in the upcoming quarters. AutoZone said that it has some concerns about its consumers due to the economy and gas costs in the fourth quarter, but still says it remains committed to its long-term growth strategy, noting that it is planning to grow new store square footage at a low-single digit rate. The retailer explained that its profit growth is in-line with expectations in its Mexico stores and also expects to open five more locations in Brazil next year. AutoZone continues to believe that there is opportunity for gross margin expansion and feels confident in its position to manage cost structure in response to the upcoming sales environment. ANALYST OPINION: On Thursday, May 22, Cleveland Research said it felt that Autozone's third quarter comparable sales trends were tracking ahead of consensus, driven by Do-It-Yourself momentum and its commercial business. As a result of this projection, the firm increased its third quarter earnings per share estimate to $8.50 and its FY14 earnings per share estimate to $31.58, which were both close to other analyst's expectations. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other publicly traded companies in this space include Pep Boys (PBY), Advanced Auto Parts (AAP), O'Reily Automotive (ORLY) and U.S. Auto Parts (PRTS). PRICE ACTION: During morning trading, shares of AutoZone fell $8.67 or $1.6%, to $532.14. Over the last year, the stock is up about 28%.