GlobeNewswire

AutoZone 4th Quarter Domestic Same Store Sales Increase 1.7%; 4th Quarter EPS Increases to $46.46; Annual Sales of $17.5 Billion

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Sept. 19, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE: AZO) today reported net sales of $5.7 billion for its fourth quarter (16 weeks) ended August 26, 2023, an increase of 6.4% from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2022 (16 weeks). Same store sales, or sales for our domestic and international stores open at least one year, are as follows:

   Constant Currency   Constant Currency
 16 Weeks 16 Weeks* 52 Weeks 52 Weeks*
        
Domestic1.7% 1.7% 3.4% 3.4%
International34.1% 14.9% 29.3% 17.5%
Total Company4.5% 2.8% 5.6% 4.6%
* Excludes impacts from fluctuations of foreign exchange rates.

For the quarter, gross profit, as a percentage of sales, was 52.7%, an increase of 118 basis points versus the prior year. The increase in gross margin was impacted by an 81 basis point ($45 million net) non-cash LIFO benefit, with the remaining leverage primarily from merchandise margins. Operating expenses, as a percentage of sales, were 31.2% versus last year at 30.9%.

Operating profit increased 10.8% to $1.2 billion. Net income for the quarter increased 6.8% over the same period last year to $864.8 million, while diluted earnings per share increased 14.7% to $46.46 from $40.51 in the year-ago quarter.

For the fiscal year ended August 26, 2023, sales were $17.5 billion, an increase of 7.4% from the prior year. Gross profit, as a percentage of sales, was 52.0% versus 52.1%. The decrease in gross margin was impacted by a 16 basis point ($29 million net) non-cash net LIFO charge. Operating expenses, as a percentage of sales, were 32.1% versus 32.0%. For fiscal 2023, net income increased 4.1% to $2.5 billion and diluted earnings per share increased 12.9% to $132.36 from $117.19.

Under its share repurchase program, AutoZone repurchased 403 thousand shares of its common stock during the fourth quarter, at an average price per share of $2,502, for a total investment of $1.0 billion. For the fiscal year, the Company repurchased 1.5 million shares of its common stock, at an average price of $2,443, for a total investment of $3.7 billion. Excise tax on shares repurchased, assessed at one percent of the fair market value of net shares repurchased, was $9.7 million for the fourth quarter and $23.7 million for the fiscal year. Since the inception of the share repurchase program, the Company has repurchased a total of 154 million shares of its common stock, at an average price of $219, for a total investment of $33.8 billion. At year end, the Company had $1.8 billion remaining under its current share repurchase authorization.

The Company’s inventory increased 2.2% over the same period last year driven by new store growth. Net inventory, defined as merchandise inventories less accounts payable, on a per store basis, was negative $201 thousand versus negative $240 thousand last year and negative $215 thousand last quarter.

“I would like to congratulate and thank our entire organization for the solid performance they delivered in our fourth quarter and fiscal year. Our customer service and trustworthy advice are what continue to differentiate us across the industry, and our AutoZoners’ commitment to delivering exceptional service has allowed us to continue to deliver strong financial results. While we started this quarter slowly, we saw improvements in the back half of our quarter. Despite lower than expected growth in domestic Commercial, we believe that the initiatives we have in place and are implementing will drive stronger growth in fiscal 2024. Additionally, we continued to be pleased with our International stores’ performance and we are excited about future growth prospects across both Mexico and Brazil. While we turn our focus to performance in the new fiscal year, we will remain committed to prudently investing capital in our business, and we will be steadfast in our long-term, disciplined approach to increasing operating earnings and cash flows while utilizing our balance sheet effectively,” said Bill Rhodes, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.

During the quarter ended August 26, 2023, AutoZone opened 53 new stores and closed one in the U.S., and 27 new stores in Mexico and 17 in Brazil for a total of 96 net new stores. For the year, the Company opened 197 net new stores. As of August 26, 2023, the Company had 6,300 stores in the U.S., 740 in Mexico and 100 in Brazil for a total store count of 7,140.

AutoZone is the leading retailer and distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories in the Americas. Each store carries an extensive product line for cars, sport utility vehicles, vans and light duty trucks, including new and remanufactured automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories, and non-automotive products. The majority of stores have a commercial sales program that provides commercial credit and prompt delivery of parts and other products to local, regional and national repair garages, dealers, service stations, fleet owners and other accounts. AutoZone also sells automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories and non-automotive products through www.autozone.com, and our commercial customers can make purchases through www.autozonepro.com. Additionally, we sell the ALLDATA brand of automotive diagnostic, repair, collision and shop management software through www.alldata.com. We also provide product information on our Duralast branded products through www.duralastparts.com. AutoZone does not derive revenue from automotive repair or installation services.

AutoZone will host a conference call this morning, Tuesday, September 19, 2023, beginning at 10:00 a.m. (ET) to discuss its fourth quarter results. This call is being web cast and can be accessed, along with supporting slides, at AutoZone’s website at www.autozone.com and clicking on Investor Relations. Investors may also listen to the call by dialing (888) 506-0062, passcode AUTOZONE. In addition, a telephone replay will be available by dialing (877) 481-4010, replay passcode 48676 through October 3, 2023.

This release includes certain financial information not derived in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”). These non-GAAP measures include adjustments to reflect return on invested capital, adjusted debt and adjusted debt to EBITDAR. The Company believes that the presentation of these non-GAAP measures provides information that is useful to investors as it indicates more clearly the Company’s comparative year-to-year operating results, but this information should not be considered a substitute for any measures derived in accordance with GAAP. Management targets the Company’s capital structure in order to maintain its investment grade credit ratings. The Company believes this is important information for the management of its debt levels and share repurchases. We have included a reconciliation of this additional information to the most comparable GAAP measures in the accompanying reconciliation tables.

Certain statements contained herein constitute forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements typically use words such as “believe,” “anticipate,” “should,” “intend,” “plan,” “will,” “expect,” “estimate,” “project,” “positioned,” “strategy,” “seek,” “may,” “could” and similar expressions. These are based on assumptions and assessments made by our management in light of experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors that we believe to be appropriate. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including without limitation: product demand, due to changes in fuel prices, miles driven or otherwise; energy prices; weather, including extreme temperatures, natural disasters and general weather conditions; competition; credit market conditions; cash flows; access to available and feasible financing on favorable terms; future stock repurchases; the impact of recessionary conditions; consumer debt levels; changes in laws or regulations; risks associated with self-insurance; war and the prospect of war, including terrorist activity; the impact of public health issues; inflation, including wage inflation; the ability to hire, train and retain qualified employees; construction delays; failure or interruption of our information technology systems; issues relating to the confidentiality, integrity or availability of information, including due to cyber-attacks; historic growth rate sustainability; downgrade of our credit ratings; damage to our reputation; challenges associated with doing business in and expanding into international markets; origin and raw material costs of suppliers; inventory availability; disruption in our supply chain; impact of tariffs; impact of new accounting standards; our ability to execute our growth initiatives; and other business interruptions. Certain of these risks and uncertainties are discussed in more detail in the “Risk Factors” section contained in Item 1A under Part 1 of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended August 27, 2022, and Part II, Item 1A, of our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended November 19, 2022. These Risk Factors should be read carefully. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results, developments and business decisions may differ from those contemplated by such forward-looking statements. Events described above and in the “Risk Factors” could materially and adversely affect our business. However, it should be understood that it is not possible to identify or predict all such risks and other factors that could affect these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made. Except as required by applicable law, we undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contact Information:
Financial: Brian Campbell at (901) 495-7005, brian.campbell@autozone.com
Media: David McKinney at (901) 495-7951, david.mckinney@autozone.com

 
AutoZone's 4th Quarter Highlights - Fiscal 2023
     
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations  
4th Quarter, FY2023    
(in thousands, except per share data)    
  GAAP Results
  16 Weeks Ended 16 Weeks Ended
  August 26, 2023 August 27, 2022
     
Net sales $5,690,618  $5,348,355 
Cost of sales  2,690,947   2,592,505 
Gross profit  2,999,671   2,755,850 
Operating, SG&A expenses  1,777,175   1,652,036 
Operating profit (EBIT)  1,222,496   1,103,814 
Interest expense, net  108,727   63,995 
Income before taxes  1,113,769   1,039,819 
Income tax expense  248,928   229,777 
Net income $864,841  $810,042 
Net income per share:    
Basic $47.83  $41.81 
Diluted $46.46  $40.51 
Weighted average shares outstanding:    
Basic  18,080   19,373 
Diluted  18,613   19,996 
     
Fiscal Year 2023    
(in thousands, except per share data)    
  GAAP Results
  52 Weeks Ended 52 Weeks Ended
  August 26, 2023 August 27, 2022
     
Net sales $17,457,209  $16,252,230 
Cost of sales  8,386,787   7,779,580 
Gross profit  9,070,422   8,472,650 
Operating, SG&A expenses  5,596,436   5,201,921 
Operating profit (EBIT)  3,473,986   3,270,729 
Interest expense, net  306,372   191,638 
Income before taxes  3,167,614   3,079,091 
Income tax expense  639,188   649,487 
Net income $2,528,426  $2,429,604 
Net income per share:    
Basic $136.60  $120.83 
Diluted $132.36  $117.19 
Weighted average shares outstanding:    
Basic  18,510   20,107 
Diluted  19,103   20,733 
     
Selected Balance Sheet Information    
(in thousands)    
  August 26, 2023 August 27, 2022
     
Cash and cash equivalents $277,054  $264,380 
Merchandise inventories  5,764,143   5,638,004 
Current assets  6,779,426   6,627,984 
Property and equipment, net  5,596,548   5,170,419 
Operating lease right-of-use assets  2,998,097   2,918,817 
Total assets  15,985,878   15,275,043 
Accounts payable  7,201,281   7,301,347 
Current liabilities  8,511,856   8,588,393 
Operating lease liabilities, less current portion  2,917,046   2,837,973 
Total debt  7,668,549   6,122,092 
Stockholders' deficit  (4,349,894)  (3,538,913)
Working capital  (1,732,430)  (1,960,409)
     


AutoZone's 4th Quarter Highlights - Fiscal 2023     
          
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations        
          
Adjusted Debt / EBITDAR         
(in thousands, except adjusted debt to EBITDAR ratio)         
  52 Weeks Ended     
  August 26, 2023 August 27, 2022     
Net income $2,528,426  $2,429,604      
Add: Interest expense  306,372   191,638      
Income tax expense  639,188   649,487      
EBIT  3,473,986   3,270,729      
          
Add: Depreciation and amortization  497,577   442,223      
Rent expense(1)  406,398   373,278      
Share-based expense  93,087   70,612      
EBITDAR $4,471,048  $4,156,842      
          
Debt $7,668,549  $6,122,092      
Financing lease liabilities  287,618   310,305      
Add: Rent x 6(1)  2,438,388   2,239,668      
Adjusted debt $10,394,555  $8,672,065      
          
Adjusted debt to EBITDAR  2.3   2.1      
          
Adjusted Return on Invested Capital (ROIC)         
(in thousands, except ROIC)         
  52 Weeks Ended     
  August 26, 2023 August 27, 2022     
Net income $2,528,426  $2,429,604      
Adjustments:         
Interest expense  306,372   191,638      
Rent expense(1)  406,398   373,278      
Tax effect(2)  (143,980)  (119,197)     
Adjusted after-tax return $3,097,216  $2,875,323      
          
Average debt(3) $6,900,354  $5,712,301      
Average stockholders' deficit(3)  (4,042,495)  (2,797,181)     
Add: Rent x 6(1)  2,438,388   2,239,668      
Average financing lease liabilities(3)  296,599   284,453      
Invested capital $5,592,846  $5,439,241      
          
Adjusted After-Tax ROIC  55.4%  52.9%     
          
(1) The table below outlines the calculation of rent expense and reconciles rent expense to total lease cost, per ASC 842, the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure, for the 52 weeks ended August 26, 2023 and August 27, 2022, respectively
     
          
  52 Weeks Ended     
(in thousands) August 26, 2023 August 27, 2022     
Total lease cost, per ASC 842 $524,283  $470,563      
Less: Financing lease interest and amortization  (86,521)  (69,564)     
Less: Variable operating lease components, related to insurance and common area maintenance  (31,364)  (27,721)       
Rent expense $406,398  $373,278      
            
(2) Effective tax rate for fiscal 2023 and 2022 was 20.2% and 21.1%, respectively      
(3)All averages are computed based on trailing five quarter balances     
          
Other Selected Financial Information         
(in thousands)         
  August 26, 2023 August 27, 2022     
Cumulative share repurchases ($ since fiscal 1998) $33,815,711  $30,092,422      
Remaining share repurchase authorization ($)  1,834,289   1,057,578      
          
Cumulative share repurchases (shares since fiscal 1998)  154,032   152,508      
          
Shares outstanding, end of quarter  17,857   19,126      
          
  16 Weeks Ended 16 Weeks Ended 52 Weeks Ended 52 Weeks Ended 
  August 26, 2023 August 27, 2022 August 26, 2023 August 27, 2022 
          
Depreciation and amortization $158,490  $140,858  $497,577  $442,223  
          
Cash flow from operations  1,068,012   1,228,021   2,940,788   3,211,135  
          
Capital spending  366,216   303,041   796,657   672,391  
          


AutoZone's 4th Quarter Highlights - Fiscal 2023     
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations       
Selected Operating Highlights         
                  
Store Count & Square Footage         
          
  16 Weeks Ended 16 Weeks Ended 52 Weeks Ended 52 Weeks Ended 
  August 26, 2023 August 27, 2022 August 26, 2023 August 27, 2022 
Domestic:         
Beginning stores  6,248   6,115   6,168   6,051  
Stores opened  53   53   133   118  
Stores closed  (1)  -   (1)  (1) 
Ending domestic stores  6,300   6,168   6,300   6,168  
          
Relocated stores  7   5   12   13  
          
Stores with commercial programs  5,682   5,342   5,682   5,342  
          
Square footage (in thousands)  41,635   40,653   41,635   40,653  
          
Mexico:         
Beginning stores  713   673   703   664  
Stores opened  27   30   37   39  
Ending Mexico stores  740   703   740   703  
          
Brazil:         
Beginning stores  83   58   72   52  
Stores opened  17   14   28   20  
Ending Brazil stores  100   72   100   72  
          
Total   7,140   6,943   7,140   6,943  
          
Total Company stores opened, net  96   97   197   176  
          
Square footage (in thousands)  47,899   46,435   47,899   46,435  
Square footage per store  6,709   6,688   6,709   6,688  
          
Sales Statistics         
($ in thousands, except sales per average square foot)         
  16 Weeks Ended 16 Weeks Ended 52 Weeks Ended 52 Weeks Ended 
Total AutoZone Stores (Domestic, Mexico and Brazil)August 26, 2023 August 27, 2022 August 26, 2023 August 27, 2022 
Sales per average store $788  $762  $2,435  $2,329  
Sales per average square foot $118  $114  $363  $349  
          
Auto Parts (Domestic, Mexico and Brazil)          
Total auto parts sales $5,589,429  $5,256,176  $17,145,137  $15,963,196  
% Increase vs. LY  6.3%  8.8%  7.4%  11.0% 
          
Domestic Commercial          
Total domestic commercial sales $1,499,040  $1,442,313  $4,598,456  $4,230,414  
% Increase vs. LY  3.9%  22.0%  8.7%  26.5% 
          
Average sales per program per week $16.7  $17.0  $16.0  $15.5  
% Increase vs. LY  (1.8%)  18.1%  3.2%  23.0% 
          
All Other, including ALLDATA         
All other sales $101,189  $92,179  $312,072  $289,034  
% Increase vs. LY  9.8%  10.6%  8.0%  16.6% 
      
  16 Weeks Ended 16 Weeks Ended 52 Weeks Ended 52 Weeks Ended 
Same store sales (4)  August 26, 2023 August 27, 2022 August 26, 2023 August 27, 2022 
Domestic  1.7%  6.2%  3.4%  8.4% 
International  34.1%  18.0%  29.3%  19.1% 
Total Company  4.5%  7.1%  5.6%  9.2% 
          
International - Constant Currency  14.9%  19.0%  17.5%  19.2% 
Total Company - Constant Currency  2.8%  7.2%  4.6%  9.2% 
          
(4) Same store sales are based on sales for all stores open at least one year. Constant Currency same store sales exclude the impact of fluctuations of foreign currency exchange rates by converting both the current year and prior year international results at the prior year foreign currency exchange rate. 
          
          
Inventory Statistics (Total Stores)         
  as of as of     
  August 26, 2023 August 27, 2022     
Accounts payable/inventory  124.9%  129.5%     
          
($ in thousands)         
Inventory $5,764,143  $5,638,004      
Inventory per store  807   812      
Net inventory (net of payables)  (1,437,138)  (1,663,343)     
Net inventory/per store  (201)  (240)     
          
  Trailing 5 Quarters     
  August 26, 2023 August 27, 2022     
Inventory turns  1.5 x  1.5 x     

 


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