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AutoZone Third-Quarter Earnings Rise 5%

AutoZone, the largest U.S. auto parts retail chain, posted a 5% rise in quarterly earnings Tuesday as sales at existing U.S. stores edged higher.

Net income increased to $151.6 million, or $2.17 per share, in its fiscal third quarter ended May 5, from $144.4 million, or $1.89 per share, a year earlier. Sales rose 4% to $1.47 billion.

Analysts, on average, expected Memphis, Tennessee-based AutoZone to report earnings of $2.15 per share on revenue of $1.48 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

Sales at domestic stores open at least one year, a key retail measure known as same-store sales, rose 0.4% in the quarter. AutoZone had nearly 3,900 domestic stores and 110 stores in Mexico at the end of the quarter.

At its domestic stores, sales to retail customers rose 3.8% to $1.23 billion in the quarter, while sales to commercial customers such as body shops fell 0.4% to $169.2 million.

AutoZone repurchased 1.9 million shares for $244.8 million in its third quarter at an average price of $128 per share.

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