AutoZone Celebrates Growth Record and 3 Hot Stocks Seeing Action

AutoZone Inc (NYSE:AZO) reports FQ1 EPS of $5.41 per share which beats estimates by $0.02. Revenue is up 3.5% on an annualised basis to $1.99 billion and in line with expectations. This was the company’s 25th consecutive quarter of double-digit earnings per share growth. Gross profit as a percentage of sales improved to 51.8% compared to 51.1% in the year ago quarter primarily due to better merchandise margins. The company opened 19 new stores and closed one in the United States, opened four new stores in Mexico and its first store in Brazil. AutoZone paid $317 million to repurchase 855,000 shares of its common stock during the quarter. The company also announced an agreement with AutoAnything, an online retailer of specialised automotive products, to purchase its assets and select liabilities.

News Corp (NASDAQ:NWS) is expected to announce its acquisition of SportsTime Ohio, a TV channel owned by the Cleveland Indians baseball team during this week, says Reuters. The $230 million acquisition follows up on News Corp’s purchase last month of a 49% stake in the YES network, a sports channel controlled by the New York Yankees baseball team for a reported $3 billion. Media companies such as News Corp and Time Warner (NYSE:TWC) are moving into regional sports channels as the broadcasting rights for major and national sports events are already sold out for many years in the future.

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Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) UK-based video on demand service, LoveFilm, is making its content accessible to gamers on Nintendo’s Wii home console and will shortly also launch on Nintendo’s new, high-definition console Wii U. LoveFilm is likely to boost its customer base as there are reportedly eight million Wii users in the UK. Users of the LoveFilm Instant service can view unlimited movies and TV series through online Wii consoles for about $8.00 a month.

SodaStream International (NASDAQ:SODA), maker of home soda maker systems that turn water into fresh soda in seconds, announces that it will launch its global ad campaign for 2013 with its first ever Super Bowl commercial during Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday, February 3, 2013. The commercial will be a revised version of its controversial new campaign, “The SodaStream Effect,” which was banned in the UK but is still available to view on YouTube. The new commercial is likely to carry a strong environmental message for consumers, “making them realize they have the power to enjoy their bubbles exactly how they want it without the hassle of carrying, storing and disposing all of those bottles and cans ever again.”

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