Traders Buy Shares of AutoZone, Inc. (AZO) on Weakness Following Insider Selling

Investors purchased shares of AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) on weakness during trading hours on Monday following insider selling activity. $78.65 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $45.33 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $33.32 million into the stock. Of all companies tracked, AutoZone had the 18th highest net in-flow for the day. AutoZone traded down ($0.98) for the day and closed at $729.79Specifically, insider William W. Graves sold 12,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $736.78, for a total value of $8,841,360.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 14,667 shares in the company, valued at $10,806,352.26. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider James C. Griffith sold 660 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $789.79, for a total value of $521,261.40. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 735 shares in the company, valued at approximately $580,495.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 13,660 shares of company stock worth $10,077,581 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 2.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $814.00 target price on shares of AutoZone in a research note on Wednesday, November 23rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded AutoZone from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $889.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, November 23rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded AutoZone from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $808.00 to $910.00 in a research note on Wednesday, December 7th. Royal Bank of Canada increased their target price on AutoZone from $855.00 to $880.00 and gave the stock a “sector perform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 7th. Finally, Wedbush reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $870.00 target price on shares of AutoZone in a research note on Wednesday, December 7th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, twelve have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $868.00.

The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $729.40 and its 200 day moving average price is $756.05. The firm has a market cap of $20.78 billion, a PE ratio of 17.12 and a beta of 0.58.

AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 28th. The company reported $8.08 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $8.19 by $0.11. The firm earned $2.29 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.34 billion. AutoZone had a negative return on equity of 69.22% and a net margin of 11.77%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $7.43 EPS. On average, analysts expect that AutoZone, Inc. will post $45.37 earnings per share for the current year.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Norges Bank purchased a new position in AutoZone during the fourth quarter valued at $221,603,000. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. purchased a new position in AutoZone during the fourth quarter valued at $888,000. Numeric Investors LLC boosted its position in AutoZone by 182.2% in the fourth quarter. Numeric Investors LLC now owns 3,330 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,630,000 after buying an additional 2,150 shares during the last quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans boosted its position in AutoZone by 13.3% in the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 197,280 shares of the company’s stock valued at $155,809,000 after buying an additional 23,210 shares during the last quarter. Finally, IFM Investors Pty Ltd purchased a new position in AutoZone during the fourth quarter valued at $321,000. 96.42% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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AutoZone Company Profile

Autozone, Inc is a retailer and distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories in the United States. The Company operates through the Auto Parts Locations segment. The Auto Parts Locations segment is a retailer and distributor of automotive parts and accessories. As of August 27, 2016, the Company operated through 5,814 locations in the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Brazil.

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