AutoZone Stock Slides on Wedbush Downgrade

Analysts were mostly optimistic ahead of today's note

by Emma Duncan

Published on Jan 6, 2020 at 10:26 AM

Shares of car parts retailer AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) are down 2.7% at $1,155.79 this morning, after being on the receiving end of a downgrade at Wedbush. The brokerage firm lowered its rating to "neutral" from "outperform" and cut its price target to $1,225 from $1,375, citing AutoZone stock's reach to near peak valuation from its 2019's rise of more than 40%. In fact, Wedbush noted a preference for AZO rival, Advance Auto Parts (AAP).

Despite today's bear note, the equity has climbed the charts long-term, up 39% over the past 12 months, and early last month touched a record high of $1,274.40. Supporting the equity has been the 180-day moving average, which captured a sharp pullback as recently as early October. 

Circling back to analyst attention, coming into today 11 of 17 covering firms sport a "buy" or better rating. This is optimistic outlook is echoed within the stock's average 12-month price target of $1,335.59 coming in 14% above Friday night's close.

Now looks to be an attractive time to bet on the equity's next move with options. This is per its Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 20%, which sits in the 14th percentile of its annual range. In simpler terms, options players are pricing in relatively low volatility expectations right now.


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