Fixer-uppers Send AutoZone Earnings Up 21 Percent

Boosted by Americans willing to fix up their cars rather than buy new ones, AutoZone posted a 21.1% jump in quarterly earnings on Tuesday, sending shares of the nation’s largest auto-parts retailer to fresh 52-week highs.

AutoZone said it earned $115.9 million, or $2.03 per share, in the quarter ending Feb. 14, compared to $106.7 million, or $1.67 per share, in the same period the year before. The retailer’s sales jumped 8.1% to $1.45 billion.

The results handily beat Wall Street’s expectations as analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had been forecasting earnings of $1.85 per share on $1.38 billion in sales.

While retailers across the country have announced dozens of store closures, AutoZone said it opened 20 new U.S. stores in its most recent quarter, closing just one. AutoZone said its domestic same-store sales rose 6% in its fiscal second quarter.

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