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Why AutoZone Stock Raced 4% Higher on Wednesday

Motley Fool - Wed Sep 20, 2023

What happened

A clutch of analyst price-target raises was the fuel injection powering AutoZone's (NYSE: AZO) stock on Wednesday. With that positive sentiment at its back, the auto-parts retailer's shares accelerated more than 4% higher on the day. By contrast, the S&P 500 index sank by almost 1%.

So what

No less than four prognosticators adjusted their AutoZone fair-value estimations, with three of them raising those targets.

None of these moves was drastic. This was typified by Barclays' Matthew McClintock, who only added $21 to his level for a new figure of $2,742 per share. He maintained his overweight (buy) recommendation as he did so.

Scot Ciccarelli of Truist (NYSE: TFC) also went the incremental route, lifting his price target to $3,006 from the preceding $2,886. Like McClintock, he kept his buy tag on the stock. D.A. Davidson's Michael Baker hiked his estimation to $2,500; previously, he felt AutoZone was worth $2,425. He's a bit less bullish than his peers with a neutral recommendation, which he maintained.

The lone dissenter was Simeon Gutman from Morgan Stanley, who sliced his price target to $2,750, down from his former $2,835. He still believes in the retailer's potential, though, leaving his overweight recommendation unchanged.

Now what

As often happens, those adjustments came in the wake of AutoZone's latest quarterly earnings release. Tuesday morning before market open, the company reported fourth-quarter results that beat the average analyst estimates for both revenue and profitability.

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Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Truist Financial. The Motley Fool recommends Barclays Plc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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