AutoZone's 15% Profit Jump Disappoints; Sales Top Views

By EarningsFOXBusiness

AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) logged a 15% rise in fiscal fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday even as the auto-parts retailer’s U.S. sales barely budged.

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The largest U.S. auto-parts retailer said it earned $371.2 million, or $10.42 a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $323.7 million, or $8.46 a share, a year earlier.

Analysts expected the company to earn $10.34.

Revenue rose 12% to $3.1 billion, narrowly exceeding the Street’s view of $3.09 billion. Domestic same-store sales gained 1%. Gross margins were unchanged at 51.8%.

“While our same store sales performance was below our expectations for the quarter, we believe the initiatives we have in place will lead to improved sales in both retail and commercial in 2014,” AutoZone CEO Bill Rhodes said in a statement.

Rhodes said the overall quarterly performance was “solid” and noted the company enjoyed its 28th consecutive quarter of double-digit EPS growth.

Memphis-based AutoZone said it bought back 1.3 million shares of common stock for $560 million during the quarter.