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AutoZone Sees 31% Surge In Q3 Sales, DIFM Business Rebounds

AutoZone reported net sales of $3.7 billion for its fiscal third quarter ending May 8, a 31.4% year-over-year increase.  

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Domestic same-store sales – sales for stores open at least one year – increased 28.9% compared to last year’s fiscal third quarter. During AutoZone’s May 25 conference call, CEO Bill Rhodes said the same-store sales growth “was a record for any quarter since we became a publicly traded company in 1991.”

Diluted earnings per share skyrocketed 84% to $26.48.

While sales were strong in AutoZone’s retail and commercial segments, Rhodes highlighted the company’s DIFM sales, which were up 44% to $828.6 million. In the fiscal third quarter, AutoZone averaged $70 million in weekly DIFM sales and $13,500 in domestic weekly commercial sales per program.

“These commercial sales numbers easily set all-time records for us,” Rhodes added. “The initiatives we have in place are helping drive our commercial sales. I’ll remind you that this is a highly fragmented $75 billion market, and we believe our product and service offerings provide us a tremendous opportunity to significantly grow sales and market share over time.”

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Rhodes emphasized that the company’s top priority “continues to be the safety, health and wellbeing of our customers and AutoZoners.” Last quarter, the company announced that it would offer a $100 incentive for every employee – including part-timers – who received their COVID-19 vaccination. In its fiscal third quarter, AutoZone spent approximately $1 million on this initiative, according to Rhodes.

“Our culture and our values of taking care of one another have been in full force and effect over the last year during this pandemic,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes was hesitant to offer guidance for AutoZone’s fiscal fourth quarter.

“While we continue to be encouraged by the current sales environment, we are cautious about predicting future trends,” he explained. “The latest round of stimulus payments certainly accelerated our sales, and sales remained at elevated levels through the end of the quarter. However, we can’t fully predict what all the different pushes and pulls on macro trends mean for us. However we remain bullish on the industry’s ability to grow this year, and we believe we are well-positioned to gain additional share beyond what we already have.”

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