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PACCAR Hits New 52-Week High

Zacks Equity Research

Shares of PACCAR Inc. (PCAR) hit a new 52-week high of $53.12 on May 3, which is above its previous level of $51.38, and closed at $52.54 on the same date. Their last closing price was $51.97, depicting a strong one-year return of 29.0% and year-to-date return of 12.1%.

The truck maker has a market cap of $18.6 billion. Average volume of the company’s shares traded over the last three months stood at approximately 1,983.74K.

Shares of the company started escalating following its recent spate of new product launches and improving automotive market in the U.S.

In March this year, PACCAR announced the launch of 52-inch mid-roof sleeper for the Kenworth T680 truck. This 52-inch sleeper is best suited for the regional haul applications. It provides the driver with comfortable and enhanced living space for relaxation. In addition, it also reduces the weight by 700 pounds from the 76-inch sleeper.

PACCAR also launched the factory-installed and integrated engine-off heating and cooling idle management system, which will be used in the T680 truck with the 76-inch sleeper. This system is a battery-based APU system used for air conditioning and is fixed directly into the T680’s ducting system. This system controls the temperature and the battery power.
Auto sales in the U.S. slipped below seasonally adjusted rate (:SAAR) of 15 million units to 14.92 million vehicles in April for the first time since October last year due to weak commercial customer (fleet) sales. However, it increased from the year-ago level of 14.42 million units by 3.5%. Total vehicle sales rose 8.5% to 1.29 million vehicles in the month.

Among the six major automakers (U.S. and Japanese), Nissan Motor Co. (NSANY) topped all the automakers in terms of sales growth (23.2%) during the month. It was followed by Ford Motor Co. (F) and General Motors Company (GM) with sales growth of 18.0% and 11.4%, respectively.

PACCAR posted a 26.4% fall in earnings to 67 cents per share in the first quarter of 2013 from 91 cents in the same quarter of 2012 and missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. Net income declined 27.9% to $236.1 million from $327.3 million in the first quarter of 2012. Revenues in the quarter dipped 18.0% to $3.9 billion but surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.7 billion. The fall in revenues and earnings was attributable to lower industry truck volumes in North America due to sluggish economic growth.
PACCAR’s capital expenditures increased to $97.1 million in the 2013-first quarter from $70.7 million in the year-ago quarter. The company has targeted capital investments of $400-$500 million and R&D expenses of $250-$275 million in 2013 for new products and expansion of manufacturing capacity.

Currently, shares of PACCAR retain a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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