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If You Had Bought AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) Shares Three Years Ago You'd Have Earned113% Returns

Simply Wall St
·3 mins read

The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But in contrast you can make much more than 100% if the company does well. To wit, the AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) share price has flown 113% in the last three years. Most would be happy with that.

Check out our latest analysis for AutoZone

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

During three years of share price growth, AutoZone achieved compound earnings per share growth of 14% per year. This EPS growth is lower than the 29% average annual increase in the share price. This suggests that, as the business progressed over the last few years, it gained the confidence of market participants. It's not unusual to see the market 're-rate' a stock, after a few years of growth.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of AutoZone's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

A Different Perspective

AutoZone shareholders gained a total return of 5.6% during the year. But that return falls short of the market. It's probably a good sign that the company has an even better long term track record, having provided shareholders with an annual TSR of 10% over five years. Maybe the share price is just taking a breather while the business executes on its growth strategy. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand AutoZone better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for AutoZone you should be aware of.

AutoZone is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.