Meritage Portfolio Management reduced its holdings in shares of AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) by 1.1% during the 3rd quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 8,225 shares of the company’s stock after selling 89 shares during the period. Meritage Portfolio Management’s holdings in AutoZone were worth $6,380,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the stock. Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC increased its stake in AutoZone by 222.4% during the 3rd quarter. Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC now owns 187 shares of the company’s stock worth $145,000 after buying an additional 129 shares during the period. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. increased its stake in AutoZone by 121.4% during the 3rd quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. now owns 19,288 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,962,000 after buying an additional 10,576 shares during the period. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. purchased a new stake in AutoZone during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $1,022,000. Russell Investments Group Ltd. increased its stake in AutoZone by 2.6% during the 3rd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 109,595 shares of the company’s stock worth $85,283,000 after buying an additional 2,818 shares during the period. Finally, Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. increased its stake in AutoZone by 170.0% during the 3rd quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 15,733 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,203,000 after buying an additional 9,906 shares during the period. 91.82% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In other news, VP Charles Pleas III sold 9,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $759.85, for a total value of $7,218,575.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 13,862 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,533,040.70. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Albert Saltiel sold 2,150 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $717.90, for a total transaction of $1,543,485.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 2,297 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,649,016.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 54,250 shares of company stock valued at $41,922,875. Company insiders own 2.80% of the company’s stock.
AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, September 18th. The company reported $18.54 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $17.92 by $0.62. AutoZone had a net margin of 11.92% and a negative return on equity of 99.70%. The business had revenue of $3.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.60 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $15.27 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that AutoZone, Inc. will post 58.41 earnings per share for the current year.
AutoZone declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, September 26th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.25 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to buy up to 6.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
Several equities research analysts recently weighed in on AZO shares. Argus cut their target price on shares of AutoZone to $820.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, August 30th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of AutoZone from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $860.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, August 28th. MED raised shares of AutoZone from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price objective for the company from $675.00 to $805.00 in a research report on Wednesday, August 1st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Deutsche Bank raised shares of AutoZone from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price objective for the company from $675.00 to $805.00 in a research report on Wednesday, August 1st. Finally, Citigroup increased their price objective on shares of AutoZone from $765.00 to $850.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 19th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. AutoZone presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $784.77.
AutoZone Company Profile
AutoZone, Inc retails and distributes automotive replacement parts and accessories. It 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. The company's 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, thermostats, starters and alternators, and water pumps.
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