Taking advantage of a growing number of people who are keeping their cars and trucks on the road for a longer period of time, automotive replacement parts maker AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) reported earning growth of 7.4% during it fiscal fourth quarter despite lackluster sales growth over the same period of time.
AutoZone saw net income for the fourth quarter rise to $323.73 million or $8.46 per share, up from $301.47 million or $7.18 per share in the year-ago period. The company indicated that earnings improved due primarily to stronger gross margins, up to 60% against 51.6% last year as lower acquisition costs for parts and higher sales drove profits.
However, same store sales, or sales for stores open at least one year, increased 2.1 percent for the quarter compared to an increase of 4.5 percent in the year-ago period according to Nasdaq.com.
For the full fiscal 2012 year AutoZone’s net income increased to $930.37 million or $23.48 per share from $848.97 million or $19.47 per share in the prior year while net sales rose 7 percent to $8.60 billion from $8.07 billion in the previous year, both ahead of analyst expectations.
AutoZone stock was up 2% in early Wednesday trading.
-Written by InvestorPlace.com staff