The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company raised its stake in AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) by 53.0% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 141,706 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 49,085 shares during the quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company owned approximately 0.52% of AutoZone worth $100,806,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of AutoZone in the fourth quarter worth $211,000. Bfsg LLC acquired a new position in shares of AutoZone in the fourth quarter worth $213,000. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of AutoZone in the third quarter worth $179,000. Paragon Capital Management Ltd acquired a new position in shares of AutoZone in the fourth quarter worth $213,000. Finally, John G Ullman & Associates Inc. acquired a new position in shares of AutoZone in the fourth quarter worth $213,000. 98.02% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
In other AutoZone news, insider James C. Griffith sold 3,623 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $698.17, for a total transaction of $2,529,469.91. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 2,016 shares in the company, valued at $1,407,510.72. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Albert Saltiel sold 2,150 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $703.09, for a total value of $1,511,643.50. Following the sale, the insider now owns 2,276 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,600,232.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 96,710 shares of company stock valued at $69,098,826 over the last 90 days. 2.60% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, December 5th. The company reported $10.00 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $9.90 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $2.59 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.54 billion. AutoZone had a negative return on equity of 78.83% and a net margin of 11.66%. The firm’s revenue was up 4.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $9.36 earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that AutoZone, Inc. will post 49.64 EPS for the current fiscal year.
A number of research firms have recently weighed in on AZO. Zacks Investment Research raised AutoZone from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $819.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, February 6th. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $720.00 target price on shares of AutoZone in a research note on Wednesday, December 6th. Barclays upped their target price on AutoZone from $710.00 to $800.00 in a research note on Thursday, December 7th. Royal Bank of Canada upped their target price on AutoZone and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 6th. Finally, Moffett Nathanson assumed coverage on AutoZone in a research note on Monday, December 4th. They issued a “neutral” rating for the company. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $747.06.
Autozone, Inc is a retailer and distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories in the United States. The Company operates through the Auto Parts Locations segment. The Auto Parts Locations segment is a retailer and distributor of automotive parts and accessories. As of August 27, 2016, the Company operated through 5,814 locations in the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Brazil.
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