O’Reilly Automotive is the second-largest auto parts retailer in the US according to market share. The company operates over 6,000 stores across the US and Mexico, and it offers a host of products and services. Auto parts retailers managed to come out of the year 2020 without much trouble as the demand for their services held up well during the pandemic. After all, people needed their cars to be functional. Many segments of the retail sector have faced significant downturns as footfalls have fallen. So, if you are an investor searching for the top retail stocks to buy for 2021, then companies like O’Reilly Auto Parts and AutoZone are worth a closer look.
O’Reilly Reports Positive Q42020 Earnings Results
O’Reilly released its Q42020 earnings numbers on 11th February 2021. Revenue was up from $2.48 billion in Q42019 to $2.82 billion in Q42020. On a diluted basis, net earnings per share were up from $4.29 in Q42019 to $5.45 in Q42020. Comparable store sales were up 11.2%, while the full-year comparable-store sales grew 10.9%, a record growth rate in the previous 25 year period. O’Reilly Automotive is among the retail stocks to buy of 2021. The company management attributed a 21% increase in operating profit to the company’s tight expense control and strong sales volumes. For the full year 2020, the company also managed to earn an operating margin of 20.8%, which was more than the previous record margin of less than 19.8%. So, the improvement was more than a full percentage point.
O’Reilly Automotive’s stock closed at $517.69, while AutoZone’s stock closed at $1450.89 on 14th April 2021. Over the preceding month, O’Reilly gained 6.89%, while AutoZone went up 12%. On a 1-year basis, O’Reilly is up 46%, while AutoZone is up 55%. Since the lows of the March 2020 market crash, both stocks have almost doubled in price.