AutoZone Inc. First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, December 6, 2011. 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, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $4.45 per share, a rise of 18% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from $4.35. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has been unchanged at $4.45 during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 15.8% versus last year to $22.55.

Past Earnings Performance: The company beat estimates last quarter by reporting net income of $7.18 per share against a mean estimate of profit of $6.98.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 5.6% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $1.89 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about AutoZone with 12 of 19 analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, profit rose 12.1% to $301.5 million ($7.12 a share) from $268.9 million ($5.60 a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 8.1% to $2.64 billion from $2.45 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 12.1% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year and 20% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year.

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue rose 8.6% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year from the year earlier, climbed 10.3% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter and 12.7% in the first quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (NYSE:AAP), O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. (NASDAQ:ORLY), The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE:PBY), U.S. Auto Parts Network, Inc. (NASDAQ:PRTS), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM), Honda Montor Co. Ltd. (NYSE:HMC), Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), CarMax (NYSE:KMX), Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), Tata Motors Limited (NYSE:TTM), and Navistar Intl. Corp. (NYSE:NAV).

Stock Price Performance: During September 6, 2011 to November 30, 2011, the stock price had risen $14.55 (4.6%) from $313.83 to $328.38. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between August 15, 2011 and August 24, 2011 when shares rose for eight-straight days, rising 5.8% (+$16.70) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 26, 2011 and August 2, 2011 when shares fell for six-straight days, falling 6.3% (-$18.45) over that span. Shares are up $55.79 (+20.5%) year to date.

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

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