AutoZone Fourth Quarter Net Income Rises 7.4 Percent


AutoZone Inc. said Wednesday its fiscal fourth-quarter net income rose 7.4 percent, helped by sales contributions from new stores.

The auto parts retailer's earnings topped Wall Street estimates but revenue fell short. CEO Bill Rhodes also said a key revenue metric that excludes the effect of newly opened or closed stores grew at a slower pace than the company projected.

"While our same store sales performance was below our expectations for the quarter, we are confident we are well positioned to again deliver strong results for our new fiscal year," said Rhodes, who is also chairman and president.

AutoZone shares rose $3 to $360.84 in morning trading. Its shares are down 10 percent from a 52-week high of $399.10 in late April. They traded as low as $307.16 in October 2011.

For the quarter ended Aug. 25, the Memphis-based auto parts retailer earned $323.7 million, or $8.46 per share, up from $301.5 million, or $7.18 per share, in the same quarter last year.

Analysts, on average, expected earnings of $8.42 per share, according to a FactSet poll.

Revenue rose 4.6 percent to $2.76 billion from $2.64 billion, while analysts expected $2.8 billion.

AutoZone said its revenue at stores open at least a year increased 2.1 percent. The metric is a key measure of a retailer's health, because it excludes revenue from stores that opened or closed recently.

The company opened 72 new stores in the U.S. and another 24 in Mexico during the recent quarter.

For the full fiscal year, AutoZone earned $930.4 million, or $23.48 per share, up from $849 million, or $19.47 per share, the year before. Revenue rose to $8.6 billion from $8.07 billion.

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