This year’s bear market has wiped trillions of market cap out of the stock market, hitting both growth and defensive stocks. But some have not only survived this period, but even significantly surpassed it. “With the S&P 500 down 20% year-to-date and the S&P 500 retail index down 35%, it can be hard to believe that retail stocks are hitting all-time highs in this environment,” Bank. American analysts Elizabeth Suzuki wrote in a note on Nov. 9. But three auto parts retailers — AutoZone , Genuine Parts and O’Reilly Auto — have beaten the odds recently to reach their all-time highs. ten trading days, the bank says. The stock as a whole has risen an average of 22% for the year, Suzuki said. “Best in Class” Of the three, only one stock has a Buy rating from Bank of America: O’Reilly Auto. It describes the company as a “best-in-class” auto parts retailer with long sales growth above the industry. The Missouri-based company had an outstanding third-quarter earnings season, as it reported earnings per share of $9.17, up 14% from a year ago. The company also delivered revenue of $3.80 billion, up 9% from a year ago. After “strong” earnings, Bank of America raised all 2022 estimates to 2024, given that it expects “continued outperformance.” Shares of O’Reilly hit a 52-week high of $848.65 in intraday trading on Nov. 10, before rising slightly to $843.85. The stock is up more than 20% this year, but Bank of America expects the share price to continue to improve. The bank’s 12-month price target is $920 for the stock, a 9% upside from its November 10 close. The stock is favored by analysts, with 71% of those covering the stock giving it a Buy option. rating, according to FactSet. Defense sector One of O’Reilly’s best results this year could be in defense of the auto parts sector. Bank of America sees auto aftermarket stocks as having characteristics similar to consumer goods, making the industry more defensive, citing its “needs nature.” “In this defense sector, we believe that a market premium is warranted for companies that 1) provide service (or provide parts to professional service shops), 2) consolidate the fragmented automotive aftermarket by increasing market share, and 3) have a diversified business structure. to would mitigate the potential impact of temporary headwinds,” Suzuki said.