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AutoZone Drops After O’Reilly Lowers Quarterly Forecast

AutoZone Inc. signage is displayed outside of a store in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Photographer: Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg

June 27 (Bloomberg) -- AutoZone Inc. fell the most in more than a month after rival auto-parts retailer O’Reilly Automotive Inc. said sales growth was slower than anticipated this quarter and profit will be on the lower end of its forecast.

AutoZone dropped 4.7 percent $359 at the close in New York, for the biggest decline since May 17. The Memphis, Tennessee-based company has gained 10 percent this year.

The industry is seeing “slumping auto-parts sales trends,” David Schick, an analyst for Stifel Nicolaus & Co., wrote in an investor note today. “It makes sense with more new cars sold, tough multiyear comparisons, and the lack of a cold winter to cause parts breakage.”

O’Reilly said yesterday after the markets closed that same-store sales rose less than expected in June after a slow start for the quarter beginning in April and some improvement in May. The company expects sales on that basis, which excludes new stores, to increase as much as 2.5 percent in the period ending this month, down from a prior forecast of a maximum of 5 percent.

Profit for the second quarter will be on the lower end of the range of $1.13 to $1.17 a share, O’Reilly said in a statement. That compared with an average estimate of $1.19, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

O’Reilly, based in Springfield, Missouri, slumped 14 percent to $82.61 for the biggest one-day drop since its initial public offering in April 1993.

To contact the reporter on this story: Niamh Ring in New York at nring@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kevin Miller at kmiller@bloomberg.net

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