AutoZone (NYSE: AZO), a leading retailer of automotive replacement parts, said its earnings for the fourth quarter rose to $22.59 per share, compared to $15.02 per share a year ago, helped by higher revenues. The bottom-line was better than analysts’ prediction of $21.80 per share.
Revenue for the quarter rose 12.1% to $4 billion, on strong domestic store sales. Since the fourth quarter of last year, AutoZone has consistently reported solid domestic store sales, riding on improved product placement. Wall Street was expecting revenues of $3.93 billion.
Domestic same-store stores increased by 3% in Q4.
For the full year, sales were $11.9 billion, an increase of 5.7% from the prior year.
AZO stock was modestly up during pre-market trading hours on Tuesday. AutoZone is one of the better-performing stocks this year, rising over 38% in the year-to-date period. The S&P 500 index has increased just 19.7% during the same period.
However, the high valuation has led to a recent spike in short interest in the stock. At the end of August, the company had 16.7% more short interest than in July.
On the other hand, it may be noted that AutoZone is likely to outperform markets in the event of a recession, as people delay purchases of new cars and keep repairing the old ones.
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