(AZO) AutoZone Increases Share Buyback to $10.4 Billion

AutoZone Inc. (AZO) announced that its board of directors has authorized the repurchase of up to an additional $500 million of common stock under its existing share buyback program. Since the inception of the repurchase program in 1998, AutoZone has authorized $10.4 billion worth of common stock for repurchase, including the above amount.

In the most recent quarter, the company has repurchased 1.3 million shares of its common stock for $339 million, at an average price of $267 per share under the current repurchase program. At the end of the quarter, the company had $152 million remaining under its existing share repurchase authorization.

Recently, the Florida-based automotive retailer AutoNation Inc. (AN) also authorized the repurchase of up to an additional $250 million of common stock under its existing share buyback program. This increased the total authorized amount of the company under the program to $395.9 million.

AutoZone, a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) company, reported a profit of $227.4 million during the third quarter of fiscal 2011, up 12.1% year over year from $202.7 million. Earnings per share (EPS) of $5.29 surpassed the year-ago earnings of $4.12, comprehensively beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 32 cents.

Net sales improved 8.6% to $1.98 billion driven by higher sales volume coupled with an aggressive store expansion strategy. It was slightly higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.92 billion.

Domestic same-store sales, i.e., sales form stores open for at least one year, deteriorated to 5.3% during the quarter from 7.1% in the comparable quarter of 2010.

AUTONATION INC (AN): Free Stock Analysis Report

AUTOZONE INC (AZO): Free Stock Analysis Report

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