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Auto Stock Roundup: Payout Hikes & Japan Auto Giants' Q4 Earnings Grab Eyeballs

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·5 min read
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April auto sales data for China — the world’s largest car market — was released last week. Per China Passenger Car Association, vehicle sales in the country for the month of April soared for the 13th straight month to 2.25 million units. Sales spiked 8.6% from the corresponding period of 2020, when the country’s vehicle demand was badly hit by coronavirus woes. Electric vehicle (EV) sales jumped a whopping 180% year over year to 206,000 units. Vehicle imports skyrocketed 115% year over year to 151,000 units for April.

On the earnings front, Toyota TM and Honda HMC delivered a comprehensive beat for fourth-quarter fiscal 2021. Meanwhile, Group 1 Automotive GPI, Autoliv ALV and Penske Automotive PAG brought in pleasant news for investors with their dividend updates.

U.S.-based motorcycle giant Harley-Davidson HOG and auto biggie Ford F also made headlines as they announced updates regarding their much-anticipated Livewire bike and F-150 truck, respectively.

Japan Auto Giants’ Earnings Results

Toyota posted fiscal fourth-quarter 2021 earnings of $5.18 per share, which handily surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.45. Moreover, the bottom line jumped from the year-ago earnings of 45 cents a share. Consolidated revenues came in at $72,564.3 million, beating the consensus mark of $70,780 million. The top-line figure also climbed 11.3% year over year. Toyota projects fiscal 2022 consolidated vehicle sales of 10.5 million units, indicating an increase from 9.9 million units sold in fiscal 2021. (Toyota Q4 Earnings & Revenues Beat, FY22 View Upbeat)

Honda reported earnings of $1.17 per share for fourth-quarter fiscal 2021, breezing past the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 43 cents on higher-than-anticipated revenues. The bottom line turned around from the year-ago loss of 16 cents per share. Quarterly revenues totaled $34,198 million, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $33,121 million. Moreover, the top line inched up 7.7% year on year. (Honda Q4 Earnings Beat, FY22 Sales View Encouraging)

Dividend Declarations

Group 1 Automotive cheered investors with the announcement of a dividend hike. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company will pay a cash dividend of 33 cents per share in first-quarter 2021, reflecting a 6.5% increase from fourth-quarter 2020. The dividend will be payable on Jun 15 to shareholders of record as of Jun 1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Autoliv reinstated its quarterly dividend, banking on improvement in profitability and FCF generation over the last few quarters. The company, which suspended its dividend amid coronavirus-led financial uncertainty last year, declared a quarterly payout of 62 cents per share for second-quarter 2021. The dividend will be payable on Jun 14, 2021 to Autoliv shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 28.

Penske Automotive raised dividend by 2.3% to 44 cents per share. The dividend is payable on Jun 2 to shareholders of record on May 24. The annualized dividend has increased to $1.76 per share, representing a yield of around 2%.

Product Launch Updates

Harley-Davidson unveiled its all-electric motorcycle brand, Livewire, in a bid to keep up with the changing dynamics of the auto industry. The first LiveWire branded motorcycle will be launched on Jul 8 and is set to be premiered at the International Motorcycle Show on Jul 9, 2021. LiveWire — having virtual headquarters with hubs in Silicon Valley and Milwaukee — will have dedicated showrooms in select regions, starting in California.

Ford announced that its much-awaited electric pickup, called F-150 Lightning, will be revealed tomorrow. Production of the F-150 Lightning will commence in spring 2022 at the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center. While the company has not divulged many details on the F-150 Lightning's powertrain, it is expected to have a dual-motor setup providing all-wheel drive. The vehicle is anticipated to have a range of 300-400 miles on a single recharge.

Price Performance

The following table shows the price movement of some of the major auto players over the past week and six-month period.

In the past six months, all stocks have increased, with Harley-Davidson being the maximum gainer. The past week displayed a mixed price trend, with Harley-Davidson gaining the most and Tesla registering maximum losses.

What’s Next in the Auto Space?

Industry watchers will track the passenger car registrations data in European Union for April 2021, which is likely to be released by European Automobile Manufacturers Association later this week. Also, watch out for any updates related to chip crunch-related disruptions in the auto market. All eyes will remain glued to how automakers tackle the semiconductor shortage and make resultant changes in business operations. Investors are keenly awaiting Copart’s quarterly results, set to be revealed tomorrow.

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Ford Motor Company (F) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (PAG) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (HMC) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Toyota Motor Corporation (TM) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Autoliv, Inc. (ALV) : Free Stock Analysis Report

HarleyDavidson, Inc. (HOG) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Group 1 Automotive, Inc. (GPI) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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