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Earnings Preview: AutoZone is likely to surpass expectations

AutoZone Inc. (AZO) is scheduled to report fourth-quarter 2018 results on September 18. Analysts expect the company to report revenues of over $3 billion, which would reflect year-over-year growth of over 2%, along with earnings of more than $17 per share.

AutoZone delivered sales of $3.5 billion and EPS of $15.27 in last year’s fourth quarter. In the third quarter, AutoZone reported revenues of $2.7 billion, which were in line with market expectations. Net earnings grew 17% to $13.42, beating analyst estimates.

AutoZone has delivered earnings growth consistently over the past few years, and analysts are optimistic that the company will beat earnings expectations for this quarter too. Positive trends within the industry and with regards to the economy in general help buoy the upbeat hopes. Some analysts believe the positive growth trend could continue in the coming years.

Last quarter, same-store sales suffered due to severe weather conditions, but these are expected to see a revival in the fourth quarter and help pick up the top line. Improvements in customer traffic along with measures implemented to boost growth are supposed to help AutoZone deliver positive results.

However, the company has some headwinds too with regards to higher expenses and pressures in its digital channels. Despite this, the overall sentiment surrounding AutoZone is positive. Looking at the past three months, the stock is up 8% and for the year-to-date period, it is up over 5%.

AutoZone’s rival Advance Auto Parts (AAP) delivered better-than-expected results a month ago for its second quarter of 2018. Revenue and earnings beat market estimates with a topline growth of 2.8% and EPS growth of 35%.

AutoZone crushes 3Q earnings estimates

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