AutoZone's 1Q Races Ahead of Estimates

Lifted by rising sales, auto parts retailer AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) revealed on Tuesday a stronger-than-expected 20% jump in fiscal first-quarter profits.

The Memphis-based retailer said it earned $172.1 million, or $3.77 a share, in the quarter ended November 20, compared with a year-earlier profit of $143.3 million, or $2.82 a share. Analysts had called for EPS of just $3.44.

AutoZone, which is the largest U.S. auto-parts retailer, said its revenue climbed 13% to $1.79 billion, topping the Street’s view or $1.72 billion. Same-store sales increased 9.5%. Gross profits inched up to 50.7%, compared with 50.3% a year earlier.

The quarter marked AutoZone’s eighth consecutive quarter of 20% or greater EPS growth and its 17th straight quarter of double-digit growth.

“While the macro environment for our industry remains favorable, our results are a direct result of the strong commitment to excellence of our 60,000+ AutoZoners across North America,” CEO Bill Rhodes said in a statement.

AutoZone’s stock climbed 2.83% to $269.31 ahead of Tuesday’s open. The stock has surged more than 65% on the year.