AutoZone cruises on successful third-quarter data

The auto parts giant beats Wall Street expectations, while continuing to expand its stores in the U.S. and Mexico.

By Benzinga May 21, 2013 8:09PM

AutoZone (AZO) took a slow ride Tuesday, after posting successful third-quarter earnings and matching revenue estimates.

The Memphis-based firm's EPS rose 15.7% year-over-year to $7.27, beating expectations of $7.23.

Revenue increased 4.5% to $2.2 billion, finishing about even with the Wall Street consensus.

Web Traffic Spikes

AutoZone's “all other” segment, consisting of ALLDATA, AutoAnything and E-commerce, spiked approximately 80%  during the quarter. The surge was likely due to its acquisition of ALLDATA in December, which gave it an additional revenue stream versus Q3 2012.

Meanwhile total auto parts sales, which accounted for 96.5% of the company's third-quarter business, increased a more modest 2.9%.

Heavier Traffic in North America

America's leading distributor and retailer of automotive replacement parts and accessories added a net of 32 stores domestically, for a total of 4,767 -- and it relocated three others. On the Mexican front, the auto parts giant opened seven stores for a total of 341. Meanwhile, its store count in Brazil remained at one, leavings its worldwide presence at 5,109 stores.

New Board Member Takes the Wheel

On February 7, AutoZone announced the election of Linda A. Goodspeed to its board of directors. Goodspeed also serves as senior VP and CIO of TheServiceMaster Company, which operates the popular Terminix brand along with several others. Prior to her role at TheServiceMaster Company, she served as VP of information systems for Nissan North America (NSANY).

New SVP Riding Shotgun

On April 1, Albert Saltiel joined the company as senior VP, marketing, customer satisfaction. Saltiel joined AutoZone from Navistar International Corporation (NAV), where he held the chief marketing officer position. Prior to that, he served as general manager, marketing at Sony (SNE) and held multiple marketing positions at Ford (F).

Higher Octane Needed?

TMC News recently reported AutoZone has the lowest revenue per employee in the automotive retail industry at $138,000. Monro Muffler (MNRO) is slightly higher at $144,000 while Pep Boys (PBY), according to TMC, is at $166,000 per employee.

O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY) and Advance Auto Parts (AAP) round out the bottom five, per TMC News, with $199,000 and $214,000 per worker, respectively.

Accelerating on Wall Street

After peaking at an all-time high of just under $423.50 in intraday trading on May 10, AutoZone dipped close to $409 by the end of trading on Monday. However, with its successful third quarter, the stock has risen to about $417 in the morning hours of trading.

More from Benzinga:

May 21, 2013 9:25PM
With the prices of new cars and the used junk out there, auto parts will be a good business for years to come.   With gasoline at $4.39 today, less money saved for a new car but well spent on plugs and filters to maximize mpg of your current paid off ride.
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