AutoZone Beats Earnings Estimates, Sales Jump In Q4

AutoZone (AZO) reported Monday that same-store sales rose 6.2% compared to a year ago in better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. The jump was twice what analysts had predicted.

The Memphis-based auto parts retailer benefited from the continuation of strong commercial business growth. Inflation and supply chain issues have reduced demand for new and used cars.

In its fourth-quarter report, AutoZone said sales totaled $5.35 billion — a 9% increase from this time last year, beating Wall Street expectations. The company reported a profit of $810 million overall for the last quarter, up from $785.8 million the year before.

“Our results are a testament to our AutoZoners’ ongoing commitment to delivering exceptional customer service every day,” Autozone CEO Bill Rhodes said in a statement.

In a Monday conference call, Rhodes told analysts that the company had increased prices amid soaring costs for transport, labor and raw materials, which boosted sales for the latest quarter by 11%.

The company’s rising profits come at a time when employers have encouraged workers to return to the office. By mid-September, nearly half of office workers were back in the workplace, a survey by the Partnership for New York City found. The survey that predicted number to rise to over 50% by January 2023.

Rhodes added that along with employers urging a return to the office, recent weather conditions have contributed to increased sales.

After a positive pre-market showing on Monday, shares of AutoZone closed at $2,097.59, down $68.06, or 3.14%.

Rhodes expressed confidence in the company’s future growth.

“The investments we have made in both inventory availability and technology are enhancing our competitive positioning. We are optimistic about our growth prospects heading into our new fiscal year,” he said.

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