Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday, August 6th.

According to Zacks, “Advance Auto Parts is focusing to expand its footprint by opening stores, widening online presence and collaborations. Further, to meet the evolving need of the customers, Advance Auto Parts is streamlining its supply chain and is opting for store transformation and inventory positioning. Also, its past investments and reduction in material costs are driving the company’s gross margin. It has also outlined a five-year strategy to remove unnecessary costs up to $750 million within a span of four to five years. In the last three months, shares of the company have outperformed the industry it belongs to. However, huge capital expenditure and price competition are concerns before the company. Also, Advance Auto Parts' business is heavily dependent on seasonality and weather conditions.”

Several other analysts have also issued reports on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co started coverage on shares of Advance Auto Parts in a research report on Monday, April 23rd. They set a market perform rating and a $110.00 price target for the company. Guggenheim upgraded shares of Advance Auto Parts from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $131.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, April 17th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Advance Auto Parts from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, July 5th. Credit Suisse Group upgraded shares of Advance Auto Parts to a buy rating and set a $122.00 target price for the company in a report on Sunday, April 22nd. Finally, Atlantic Securities upgraded shares of Advance Auto Parts from a neutral rating to an overweight rating and set a $140.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, May 8th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $143.11.

AAP traded up $2.23 during trading on Monday, reaching $164.03. The stock had a trading volume of 960,600 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,156,467. The stock has a market cap of $12.01 billion, a PE ratio of 30.28, a P/E/G ratio of 2.18 and a beta of 1.12. The company has a quick ratio of 0.48, a current ratio of 1.63 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29. Advance Auto Parts has a one year low of $78.81 and a one year high of $165.07.

Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, August 14th. The company reported $1.97 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.86 by $0.11. Advance Auto Parts had a return on equity of 13.43% and a net margin of 5.68%. The business had revenue of $2.33 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.26 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.48 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts anticipate that Advance Auto Parts will post 6.92 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 5th. Investors of record on Friday, September 21st will be given a dividend of $0.06 per share. This represents a $0.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.15%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 20th. Advance Auto Parts’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 4.47%.

Advance Auto Parts announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, August 14th that permits the company to buyback $600.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to reacquire up to 5.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, Director Nigel Travis purchased 1,250 shares of Advance Auto Parts stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 17th. The stock was bought at an average price of $159.70 per share, with a total value of $199,625.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 1,250 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $199,625. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 4.50% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Advance Auto Parts in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $116,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC purchased a new position in shares of Advance Auto Parts during the 2nd quarter worth $117,000. Federated Investors Inc. PA purchased a new position in shares of Advance Auto Parts during the 2nd quarter worth $124,000. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. boosted its stake in shares of Advance Auto Parts by 1,148.4% during the 1st quarter. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. now owns 1,186 shares of the company’s stock worth $141,000 after acquiring an additional 1,091 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Mercantile Trust Co. purchased a new position in shares of Advance Auto Parts during the 2nd quarter worth $162,000.

About Advance Auto Parts

Advance Auto Parts, Inc provides automotive replacement parts, batteries, accessories, and maintenance items for domestic and imported cars, vans, sport utility vehicles, and light and heavy duty trucks. It offers battery accessories, belts and hoses, brakes and brake pads, chassis and climate control parts, clutches and drive shafts, engines and engine parts, exhaust systems and parts, hub assemblies, ignition components and wires, radiators and cooling parts, starters and alternators, and steering and alignment parts.

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