AutoZone slides after sales miss

AutoZone was down as much as 6% in premarket trading Tuesday after the auto-parts retailer reported fiscal fourth-quarter sales that missed Wall Street estimates. Shares have trimmed their losses and are now lower by less than 2.5%.

The company said sales edged up 1.1% versus a year ago to $US3.55 billion, just shy of the $US3.59 billion that analysts surveyed by Bloomberg were expecting. Domestic same-store sales, or sales at US stores open at least one year, increased 2.2% for the quarter, missing the 2.3% increase that was anticipated.

The company earned $US400.3 million or $US15.02 a share, a 7.7% decrease versus a year ago.

“We were pleased to deliver positive same store sales for both our Retail and Commercial businesses,” Bill Rhodes, AutoZone’s chairman, president and CEO, said in the press release. “We expected our sales, particularly in the Rust Belt, to increase this summer and, for the most part, that materialised.”

For the fiscal year ended August 25, 2018, sales climbed 3.1% to $US11.2 billion while earnings increased 10.7% to $US48.77 a share.

AutoZone also announced the launch of a next-day home-delivery program, which will allow the retailer to deliver local-market inventory to about 80% of the US population.

AutoZone shares were down 3.6% this year through Monday.

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