AutoZone 1st-quarter results top Wall Street's view; sales climb as gas prices fall

IndustriesAssociated Press

Falling gas prices and temperatures pushed Autozone beyond Wall Street's expectations during the first quarter as comparable-store sales jumped.

Cheap gas has put more money into the pockets of consumers to spend elsewhere, which they apparently did in part to get their cars ready for a harsh start to the winter season.

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The auto parts retailer posted a profit of $238.3 million, or $7.27 per share, which was well above the $7.18 per share that analysts had projected, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Chairman and CEO Bill Rhodes also cited the company's focus on inventory.

"The expanded assortments we have deployed over the last year are working and are contributing to our success," Rhodes said. "Our other inventory initiatives remain in test phase but are being expanded based on favorable results to date."

AutoZone posted revenue of $2.26 billion for the period ending Nov. 22, which also beat forecasts for $2.22 billion from Wall Street.

Sales at stores open at least a year, a key gauge of a retailer's health, climbed 4.5 percent and net expenses declined.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights using data from Zacks Investment Research. AZO stock research report from Zacks.

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Keywords:AutoZone,Earnings Report