Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Advance Auto Parts’ is focusing on store expansions in order to enhance its profit. Additionally, it is also working towards the improvement of its comparable store sales and margins in the long-term. The company’s five-year strategy to a productivity pipeline will lead to the elimination of unnecessary costs. Also in the last three months, its shares have outperformed the industry it belongs. However, its rising SG&A expenses attributed to higher investments in customer focused strategies is hampering its gross margin figures. Also, competitive pricing among peers and availability of new vehicles leading to reduced requirement for company’s maintenance and repair of parts are few other headwinds for Advance Auto Parts.”

Several other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the stock. Jefferies Group lowered their price target on shares of Advance Auto Parts from $130.00 to $130.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. Morgan Stanley set a $120.00 price target on shares of Advance Auto Parts and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. Stephens set a $108.00 price target on shares of Advance Auto Parts and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Oppenheimer reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Advance Auto Parts in a research note on Tuesday, November 14th. Finally, Raymond James Financial reiterated a “market perform” rating on shares of Advance Auto Parts in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $107.91.

Shares of Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) opened at $115.53 on Wednesday. Advance Auto Parts has a twelve month low of $78.81 and a twelve month high of $174.82. The company has a current ratio of 1.52, a quick ratio of 0.32 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32. The company has a market cap of $8,520.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.22, a P/E/G ratio of 1.92 and a beta of 1.00.

Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 14th. The company reported $1.43 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.25 by $0.18. Advance Auto Parts had a net margin of 3.75% and a return on equity of 13.51%. The business had revenue of $2.18 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.21 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.73 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 3.0% on a year-over-year basis. analysts predict that Advance Auto Parts will post 5.24 EPS for the current year.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Veritable L.P. grew its position in shares of Advance Auto Parts by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Veritable L.P. now owns 2,008 shares of the company’s stock valued at $234,000 after acquiring an additional 6 shares during the period. QS Investors LLC grew its position in shares of Advance Auto Parts by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. QS Investors LLC now owns 1,017 shares of the company’s stock valued at $119,000 after acquiring an additional 9 shares during the period. Security National Bank of Sioux City Iowa IA grew its position in shares of Advance Auto Parts by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. Security National Bank of Sioux City Iowa IA now owns 6,107 shares of the company’s stock valued at $712,000 after acquiring an additional 67 shares during the period. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. grew its position in shares of Advance Auto Parts by 4.5% in the 2nd quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,582 shares of the company’s stock valued at $184,000 after acquiring an additional 68 shares during the period. Finally, HighTower Advisors LLC grew its position in shares of Advance Auto Parts by 1.7% in the 2nd quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 5,370 shares of the company’s stock valued at $626,000 after acquiring an additional 91 shares during the period.

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Advance Auto Parts Company Profile

Advance Auto Parts, Inc provides automotive aftermarket parts in North America, serving do-it-for-me (Professional) and do-it-yourself (DIY), customers. 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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