AutoZone First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, December 4, 2012. AutoZone is a specialty retailer of automotive replacement parts and accessories, offering an extensive line for cars, sport utility vehicles, vans, and light trucks.

AutoZone Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $5.40 per share, a rise of 15.4% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $5.45. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at $5.40 during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $27.58 per share, a rise of 17.5% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company topped forecasts last quarter after being in line with estimates the quarter prior. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, it reported profit of $8.46 per share versus a mean estimate of $8.39. Two quarters ago, it reported net income of $6.28 per share.

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A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, profit rose 7.4% to $323.7 million ($8.40 a share) from $301.5 million ($7.12 a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 4.6% to $2.76 billion from $2.64 billion.

Stock Price Performance: Between September 4, 2012 and November 28, 2012, the stock price rose $25.58 (7.1%), from $358.28 to $383.86. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between January 3, 2012 and January 23, 2012, when shares rose for 14 straight days, increasing 8.5% (+$27.22) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between November 6, 2012 and November 14, 2012 when shares fell for seven straight days, dropping 4% (-$15.51) over that span.

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $2.02 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 5.2% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $9.24 billion for the year, a rise of 7.4% from last year’s revenue of $8.6 billion.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is looking to build on two-straight revenue increases with this earnings announcement. Revenue rose 6.7% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year before climbing again in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year of the last fiscal year.

Analyst Ratings: With eight analysts rating the stock as a buy, none rating it as a sell and eight rating it as a hold, there are indications of a bullish outlook.

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 0.81 last quarter. The current ratio is an indication of a firm’s liquidity and ability to meet creditor demands and generally, a ratio less than one could indicate a company may have difficulty meeting current obligations. The company regressed in this liquidity measure from 0.83 in the third quarter of the last fiscal year to the last quarter driven in part by an increase in liabilities. Current liabilities increased 2.5% to $3.66 billion while assets rose 1.2% to $2.98 billion.

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(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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