Don't poo poo the company's stock buyback plan. Revenue growth or earnings growth don't mean anything, it's all about earnings per share growth. If hypothetically AZO can buy back more shares as a % of their outstanding shares than the rate at which earnings in the future hypothetically decline, then they would still have an increase in earnings per share. If earnings increased then any buyback would increase earnings per share growth by the percentage of shares they bought back.
If earnings remained constant each year for the next ten years, did not increase or decrease, and AZO were able to buyback 10% of their current outstanding shares each year, then they would have effectively bought out all shareholders and one share of stock would be worth several billion dollars.
In the spring quarter of 2005 AZO bought back 5% of their stock in that quarter alone! As the price of the stock goes down, it becomes cheaper and cheaper for them to buy in these treasury shares and a greater return on their money.
I am sure AZO won't see the declines in unit volume that the cigarrette companies have seen over the last several decades. If you want to see a great success story of another serial buyer of their own stock whose revenue growth has been severely challanged, look no further than Altria, Philip Morris.
Stock buybacks at low prices pay off huge in the future!