Auto parts retailer O'Reilly skids after sales warning

Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:35am EDT

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(Reuters) - Shares of O'Reilly Automotive Inc (ORLY.O) plunged 22 percent on Wednesday after the auto parts retailer warned of weak sales in June, exacerbating concerns of a slowdown in the industry.

Shares of the largest U.S. auto parts retail chain AutoZone Inc (AZO.N) fell as much as 6 percent while those of Advance Auto Parts Inc (AAP.N) shares were down 4 percent on the New York Stock Exchange.

"The entire auto parts retail sector appears to be weakening," said Raymond James analyst Dan Wewer, who cut his price target on O'Reilly's stock to $100 from $115.

"O'Reilly's sales shortfall cannot be attributed to market share loss," Wewer wrote in a client note.

O'Reilly, which is expected to release its second-quarter results next month, cut its same-store sales outlook for the second quarter on Tuesday, citing disappointing sales in June.

Advanced Auto Parts, which reported a weaker-than-expected quarterly profit in May, had also warned of challenging sales trends in the current quarter citing difficulties in attracting customers.

Piper Jaffray analysts said a warm winter may have reduced repair work as many cars did not require part replacements from the wear and tear colder weather would have caused.

Brokerages Barclays Capital, RBC Capital Markets and UBS also cut their price targets on O'Reilly.

O'Reilly shares fell to $75.61, their lowest in the last five months, in morning trade on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Bijoy Koyitty in Bangalore; Editing by Viraj Nair)

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