* 3rd-qtr earnings $7.27/share vs est $7.21
* Revenue rises 4.5 pct to $2.21 billion
* Same-store sales fall 0.1 pct
May 21 AutoZone Inc, the largest U.S.
auto parts retailer, reported a better-than-expected quarterly
profit as U.S. customers undertook car repairs after a prolonged
The company, which faced weak demand a year ago as a
warmer-than-usual winter resulted in less wear and tear to
vehicles, said there was a noticeable improvement in its
performance, mainly in the U.S. Northeast and Midwest in the
final four weeks of the quarter.
AutoZone said in February it would grow faster in the second
half of the fiscal year as it expected the severe winter to
drive up auto repairs.
Gross margins rose to 51.8 percent in the third quarter from
51.6 percent a year earlier, the company said on Tuesday.
AutoZone, which competes with Advance Auto Parts Inc
and O'Reilly Automotive Inc, said sales rose 4.5
percent to $2.21 billion, in line with analysts' expectations,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Same-store sales fell 0.1 percent.
Net income rose to $265.6 million, or $7.27 per share, in
the third quarter, from $248.6 million, or $6.28 per share, a
Analysts had expected earnings of $7.21 per share.
Memphis-based AutoZone's shares closed at $409.05 on the New
York Stock Exchange on Monday. They have risen over 10 percent
in the last three months.