AutoZone Inc. shares
rose more than 1% in premarket trade Tuesday before turning lower, after the car parts maker beat earnings estimates for its fiscal first quarter, despite the challenges created by the pandemic. Memphis, Tenn.-based AutoZone said it had net income of $442.4 million, or $18.61 a share, in the quarter to Nov. 21, up from $350.3 million, or $14.30 a share, in the year-earlier period. Sales climbed to $3.154 billion from $2.793 billion. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of $17.80 and sales of $3.147 billion. “As the COVID-19 global pandemic continues, our primary focus has been and continues to be the health, wellness and safety of our customers and AutoZoners,” Chief Executive Bill Rhodes said in a statement. The company is spending $50 million to offer workers emergency time off and will extend carryover of paid time off for much of the new year. The company opened 39 new stores in the U.S. during the quarter and two in Brazil. AutoZone had 5,924 stores in the U.S. as of Nov. 21, 621 stores in Mexico and 45 stores in Brazil. Shares have fallen 2.9% in the year to date, while the S&P 500
has gained 14.3%.