U.S. stocks pare opening gains; Dow, Nasdaq turn negative

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AutoZone shares jump 3% premarket after profit blows past estimates

Shares of car parts retailer AutoZone Inc. 3% in premarket trade Tuesday, after the company blew past profit estimates for the first quarter. The company said it had net income of $366.7 million, or $13.42 a share, in the quarter, up from $331.7 million, or $11.44 a share, in the year-earlier period. Sales rose to $2.66 billion from $2.62 billion. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of $12.90 and sales of $2.71 billion. Earnings were boosted by the tax revamp that was signed into law in December. “As we entered the third quarter, we were optimistic about our sales prospects for Q3 since we were coming off the first reasonably severe winter in the last three years,” Chief Executive Bill Rhodes said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we had a very cold, wet spring through March and much of April and our sales didn’t respond until spring-like weather arrived in late April.” Performance improved significantly after that he said, making the company optimistic about the rest of the selling season. Shares have gained 0.9% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 14%.

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