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AutoZone 1st-Quarter Profit Rises 6.4% on Auto-Parts Sales Growth

Date : 12/04/2012 @ 6:25PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Autozone, Inc. (AZO)
Quote : 516.16  -5.98 (-1.15%) @ 3:43AM
Autozone share price Chart

AutoZone 1st-Quarter Profit Rises 6.4% on Auto-Parts Sales Growth

Autozone (NYSE:AZO)
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   By Tess Stynes and Ben Fox Rubin 

AutoZone Inc.'s (AZO) fiscal first-quarter earnings rose 6.4% as the company saw continued sales growth in its auto-parts and domestic commercial businesses, though same-store sales growth weakened.

The company also said it agreed to buy AutoAnything, an online retailer of specialized automotive products, for an undisclosed amount.

The largest auto-parts retailer in the U.S. has seen its performance benefit from the addition of new stores in the U.S. and Mexico and a growing commercial business. The company recently embarked on a plan to enter the Brazilian market--the fourth-largest auto market in the world--where it plans to open as many as 15 stores over the next few years.

In the latest quarter, domestic same-store sales edged up 0.2%, its lowest growth rate in years.

For the quarter ended Nov. 17, AutoZone reported a profit of $203.5 million, or $5.41 a share, up from $191.1 million, or $4.68 a share, a year earlier.

Revenue grew 3.5% to $1.99 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently projected earnings of $5.39 on revenue of $2.03 billion.

Gross margin rose to 51.8% from 51.1%, as lower acquisition costs and lower shrink expense pushed up merchandise margin, the company said.

Auto-parts sales rose 3.4% to $1.95 billion, while commercial sales rose 12% to $306.1 million.

Shares closed Monday at $378.01 and were inactive premarket. The stock is up 16% so far this year.

Write to Ben Fox Rubin at ben.rubin@dowjones.com

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