Shares of Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE:AAP) shot up 3.5% during mid-day trading on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $172.87 and last traded at $170.50, with a volume of 920,350 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $164.73.

Several research firms have recently issued reports on AAP. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Advance Auto Parts in a report on Sunday, July 10th. Vetr lowered Advance Auto Parts from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $150.50 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, June 28th. Argus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $185.00 price objective (down from $200.00) on shares of Advance Auto Parts in a research note on Tuesday, June 21st. Wedbush reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $160.00 price objective on shares of Advance Auto Parts in a research note on Wednesday, June 15th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Advance Auto Parts in a research note on Tuesday, June 14th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $171.71.

The company’s 50 day moving average price is $159.68 and its 200 day moving average price is $154.05. The stock has a market capitalization of $12.50 billion and a PE ratio of 26.04.

Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 19th. The company reported $2.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.60 by $0.09. The company earned $2.98 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.02 billion. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $2.39 EPS. Equities analysts expect that Advance Auto Parts Inc. will post $7.85 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, July 1st. Investors of record on Friday, June 17th were issued a $0.06 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, June 15th. This represents a $0.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.14%.

In other Advance Auto Parts news, CEO Thomas Greco acquired 6,700 shares of Advance Auto Parts stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 7th. The stock was bought at an average price of $150.82 per share, with a total value of $1,010,494.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the chief executive officer now directly owns 35,904 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,415,041.28. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Charles E. Tyson sold 5,527 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $149.19, for a total transaction of $824,573.13. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 27,199 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,057,818.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of institutional investors have modified their holdings of AAP. Utah Retirement Systems increased its position in shares of Advance Auto Parts by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. Utah Retirement Systems now owns 13,236 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,992,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. KBC Group NV increased its position in shares of Advance Auto Parts by 18.4% in the fourth quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 28,038 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,220,000 after buying an additional 4,360 shares during the period. State of Tennessee Treasury Department increased its position in shares of Advance Auto Parts by 422.8% in the fourth quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department now owns 58,559 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,814,000 after buying an additional 47,359 shares during the period. Roosevelt Investment Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Advance Auto Parts by 207.3% in the fourth quarter. Roosevelt Investment Group Inc. now owns 6,695 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,008,000 after buying an additional 4,516 shares during the period. Finally, I.G. Investment Management LTD. increased its position in shares of Advance Auto Parts by 51.9% in the fourth quarter. I.G. Investment Management LTD. now owns 45,929 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,913,000 after buying an additional 15,688 shares during the period.

Advance Auto Parts, Inc provides automotive aftermarket parts in North America, serving do-it-for-me (commercial) and do-it-yourself (DIY), customers, as well as independently owned operators. The Company’s stores and branches offer a selection of brand name, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and private label automotive replacement parts, accessories, batteries and maintenance items for domestic and imported cars, vans, sport utility vehicles and light and heavy duty trucks.

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