Increase in Vehicle Production to Boost Demand for Auto Parts

The Provides Stock Research on Magna International Inc. and Genuine Parts Co.


NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Mar 8, 2013) - Despite ongoing weakness in Europe, major automakers in the U.S. and overseas are expected to ramp up production thanks to rising auto sales in the U.S. and China. Increase in vehicle production is expected to benefit auto parts wholesalers such as Magna International Inc. (NYSE: MGA) and Genuine Parts Company (NYSE: GPC). Automakers such as Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company in the U.S., and Toyota Motor Corporation are expected to boost production in 2013 as auto sales continue to rise in U.S. and China. The trend is expected to benefit auto parts wholesalers.

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Auto sales in the U.S. are being driven by cheap financing and pent-up demand. This trend is likely to continue going forward, and therefore auto sales in the U.S. are expected to remain robust. A rebound in Chinese economy is likely to boost auto sales in the country. Europe, however, remains a weakness for the auto industry. While concerns over the Eurozone debt crisis have eased, the region is still not growing. However, the weakness in Europe will be more than offset by U.S. and China, as well as other emerging markets.

Last Friday, Magna International Inc. reported its financial results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2012. Magna International Inc.'s sales for the quarter were $8.03 billion, representing an increase of 11% over the same period in the previous year. Sales rose as vehicle production in North America rose 12%. The increase in vehicle production in North America was, however, partially offset by Europe, where vehicle production fell 8%. Adjusted EBIT for the quarter rose 21% to $387 million. Income from operations for the quarter was $341 million, while net income was $351 million, or $1.49 per share.

Don Walker, CEO of Magna International Inc., said last week that overall, he is satisfied with the company's operating results for 2012. Walker noted that the company continued its strong performance in North America. He added that in Europe, the company saw better operating results and return to profitability. Walker also said that Asia remains profitable, despite the significant new facility activity.

Last month, Genuine Parts Co. reported its fourth quarter financial results. For the quarter ended December 31, 2012, the company reported record sales and earnings. Sales for the quarter rose 3.5% to $3.1 billion. Net income for the quarter was $160 million, representing an increase of 19% over the same period in the previous year.

Tom Gallagher, Chairman and CEO of Genuine Parts Company, said that in 2012, the company further strengthened its financial condition, with increased net income, an expanded operating margin and a continued emphasis on effectively managing the balance sheet.

Looking ahead to 2013, Gallagher said that the company remains committed to its core objectives of growing sales and earnings, showing continued operating margin improvement, generating solid cash flows and maintaining a strong balance sheet.


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