The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: AutoNation, Ford Motor, Toyota Motor, Honda Motor and Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais


For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – July 11, 2013 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include AutoNation Inc. (AN-Free Report), Ford Motor Co. (F-Free Report), Toyota Motor Corp. (TM-Free Report), Honda Motor Co. (HMC-Free Report) and Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais (CIG-Free Report).

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Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

AutoNation’s June Sales Climb 10%

Automotive retailer AutoNation Inc. (AN-Free Report) posted a 10% year-over-year increase in retail new vehicle sales to 25,162 units in June. The rise was attributable to strong sales in the Domestic segment.

On same-store basis, retail new vehicle sales went up 5% to 24,107 units. June had 26 selling days this year versus 27 selling days last year.

Sales in the Domestic segment increased 15% to 8,130 vehicles. The segment comprises retail automotive franchises that sell vehicles manufactured by Ford Motor Co. (F
-Free Report), Chrysler and others.

Sales in the Import segment went up 8% to 12,460 vehicles. The segment covers retail automotive franchises that sell vehicles manufactured by Toyota Motor Corp. (TM
-Free Report), Honda Motor Co. (HMC-Free Report) and others.

Sales in the Premium Luxury segment rose 8% to 4,572 vehicles during the month. The segment consists of retail automotive franchises selling vehicles manufactured by Mercedes Benz, BMW, Lexus and others.

AutoNation recorded a 10% increase in new vehicle sales to 22,515 units in Apr and 11% growth to 26,372 units in May. The company registered nearly 10% increase in new vehicle sales to 74,049 units in the second quarter of 2013. Domestic segment sales improved 16%. Import segment sales rose 7% and Premium Luxury segment sales climbed 10% in the quarter.

Auto sales in the U.S. grew 9.2% to 1.40 million units in June, translating into a 13.2% year-over-year rise to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (:SAAR) of 15.96 million units, the fastest since Dec 2007. The year-over-year improvement was attributable to the growing popularity of pickups among buyers together with improvements in housing, construction and energy sectors.

In addition, strong pent-up demand, launch of new models, lower interest on auto loans and a resilient economy leading to higher consumer confidence had favorable impacts on the results.

Based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla, AutoNation is the largest automotive retailer in the U.S. The company owns and operates about 266 new vehicle franchises that sell 32 brands located in the major metropolitan markets across 15 states.

AutoNation posted a 21.4% rise in earnings per share to 68 cents in the first quarter of 2013 from 56 cents in the same quarter of 2012, topping the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5 cents.

Revenues increased 10.8% to $4.1 billion, slightly ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.0 billion. The revenue growth was mainly attributable to strong new vehicle sales during the quarter. The company retains a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Cemig to Reward Shareholders

Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais (CIG-Free Report), also known as Cemig, recently announced the dates for the payment of the second installment of dividend for the year 2012.

The total disbursement, amounting to R$609.1 million, will be made in two tranches and will be completed by Dec 2013. Firstly, Cemig will pay roughly R$250 million (or R$0.293201967) to shareholders on Jul 18 while the remaining amount of R$359.1 million will be distributed by the year end 2013.

For shares, holders of record as on Apr 30, 2013 will be considered eligible for dividend distribution while for ADRs, holders of record as on May 6 will be entitled.

The above distribution was approved at Cemig’s Ordinary and Extraordinary General Meetings of Stockholders held on Apr 30, 2013. The first installment of the dividend, roughly R$609.1 million, for 2012 was paid on Jun 27, 2013. Additionally, the company also paid interest on equity of R$164 million or R$0.192340491 per share.

Regarding dividends, CEMIG will disburse roughly R$609.1 million (or R$ 0.714302738 per share) to shareholders of record as on Apr 30, 2013 and ADR holders of record as on May 6, 2013.

If we look into CEMIG’s first-quarter 2013 financial results, we find that the company paid approximately R$1.9 billion as interest on equity and dividends.

CEMIG is one of the largest integrated electric utilities in Brazil with approximately 97% of the company’s installed generation capacity being hydroelectric power.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 and 2014 is pegged at $1.45 per ADR and $1.33 per ADR, respectively. These represent a year-over-year decline of 40.8% for 2013 and 8.1% for 2014.

CEMIG currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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