O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. (NASDAQ:ORLY) was the recipient of a large decrease in short interest in the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 3,995,374 shares, a decrease of 34.9% from the July 14th total of 6,134,907 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 2,046,817 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.0 days. Approximately 4.6% of the shares of the company are short sold.

A number of research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued a “buy” rating on shares of O’Reilly Automotive in a research report on Wednesday. BidaskClub raised shares of O’Reilly Automotive from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Credit Suisse Group set a $195.00 target price on shares of O’Reilly Automotive and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Wedbush reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $195.00 target price on shares of O’Reilly Automotive in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, UBS AG reissued a “buy” rating and set a $230.00 target price (down from $255.00) on shares of O’Reilly Automotive in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $242.80.

Shares of O’Reilly Automotive (ORLY) opened at 198.91 on Friday. O’Reilly Automotive has a 1-year low of $169.43 and a 1-year high of $288.67. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $197.02 and a 200 day moving average of $242.17. The stock has a market capitalization of $17.51 billion, a PE ratio of 17.42 and a beta of 0.74.

O’Reilly Automotive (NASDAQ:ORLY) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The specialty retailer reported $3.10 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.90 by $0.20. O’Reilly Automotive had a net margin of 12.23% and a return on equity of 72.22%. The business had revenue of $2.29 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.29 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $2.65 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.2% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that O’Reilly Automotive will post $11.87 EPS for the current year.

O’Reilly Automotive declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, May 10th that permits the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the specialty retailer to reacquire up to 4.3% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, Director Rosalie Oreilly Wooten sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $210.14, for a total transaction of $1,050,700.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 77,562 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,298,878.68. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman David E. Oreilly sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $250.56, for a total transaction of $6,264,000.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 145,568 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $36,473,518.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 32,080 shares of company stock valued at $7,754,807 over the last three months. Insiders own 3.12% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its position in shares of O’Reilly Automotive by 41.7% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 47,988 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $13,360,000 after buying an additional 14,116 shares in the last quarter. National Pension Service increased its position in O’Reilly Automotive by 5.9% in the first quarter. National Pension Service now owns 81,489 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $22,198,000 after buying an additional 4,516 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can increased its position in O’Reilly Automotive by 40.7% in the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 220,967 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $59,626,000 after buying an additional 63,886 shares during the period. Regentatlantic Capital LLC increased its position in O’Reilly Automotive by 12.8% in the first quarter. Regentatlantic Capital LLC now owns 893 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $241,000 after buying an additional 101 shares during the period. Finally, Private Trust Co. NA bought a new position in O’Reilly Automotive during the first quarter valued at approximately $635,000. 95.61% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About O’Reilly Automotive

O’Reilly Automotive, Inc is a specialty retailer of automotive aftermarket parts, tools, supplies, equipment and accessories in the United States. The Company sells its products to both do-it-yourself (DIY) and professional service provider customers. The Company’s product line includes new and remanufactured automotive hard parts, such as alternators, starters, fuel pumps, water pumps, brake system components, batteries, belts, hoses, temperature control, chassis parts, driveline parts and engine parts; maintenance items, such as oil, antifreeze, fluids, filters, wiper blades, lighting, engine additives and appearance products, and accessories, such as floor mats, seat covers and truck accessories.

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