AutoZone stays on the right track in third quarter

AutoZone marked its 31st consecutive quarter of double digit earnings per share growth for the period ended May 10.

The company reported net sales of $2.3 billion for the quarter, an increase of 6.2% from the third quarter last year. Domestic same-store sales, or sales for stores open at least one year, increased 4% for the quarter.

Net income for the quarter increased $19.6 million, or 7.4%, over the same period last year to $285.2 million, while diluted earnings per share increased 16.4% to $8.46 per share from $7.27 per share in the year-ago quarter.

For the quarter, gross profit, as a percentage of sales, was 52% versus 51.8% for last year's quarter. The company credited the improvement in gross margin to higher merchandise margins and lower shrink expense, partially offset by higher supply chain costs associated with current year inventory initiatives.

"We are pleased to report our 31st consecutive quarter of double digit earnings per share growth. AutoZoners across the company are dedicated to providing superior service to our customers and that dedication is evidenced in our consistently strong performance,” said chairman, president and CEO Bill Rhodes. “For the third quarter, overall our sales performance was generally consistent with the second quarter. While failure related categories were particularly strong in the second quarter, as expected, the deferrable maintenance categories rebounded in the third quarter and we expect that trend to continue through the summer. Our inventory availability test initiatives continue to show promise although we still have significant testing to complete before we determine our long-term approach. As we have routinely stated, we will remain committed to our disciplined approach to growing operating earnings and utilizing our capital effectively."

During the quarter ended May 10, AutoZone opened 30 new stores in the U.S., and seven new stores in Mexico, for a total of 4,901 stores in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico in the U.S., 374 stores in Mexico and four stores in Brazil.



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