AutoZone (NYSE: AZO), a leading retailer of automotive replacement parts, is scheduled to report fourth-quarter financial results on Tuesday, September 24, before the regular trading hours. The company has a remarkable history of beating bottom-line estimates with an average surprise of 8.7% in the trailing four quarters.
Analysts expect the automotive retailer to report earnings of $21.80 per share in the fourth quarter, compared to $18.54 per share it reported the year-ago period, helped by another quarter of strong revenue growth.
Total revenues are, meanwhile, projected to jump 10.5% from a year ag to $3.93 billion, driven by strong domestic store sales. Since the fourth quarter of last year, AutoZone has consistently reported solid domestic store sales, riding on improved product placement.
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.
In Q3, the company reported better-than-expected earnings and sales aided by strong comparable-store sales, sending the stock up nearly 3%.
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