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The automobile rebound has been one of the biggest success stories of the global recovery. Standard Motor Products, Inc. (SMP - Analyst Report) saw sales leap 8% in Q4 as the auto parts business remained strong.

This Zacks #2 Rank (buy) manufactures and distributes automotive replacement parts worldwide. It has 2 segments, Engine Management and Temperature Control.

Standard Motor Products Beat for the Third Quarter in a Row

On Mar 3, Standard Motor reported fourth quarter results and surprised on the Zacks Consensus by 266%. Earnings per share were 11 cents compared to the consensus of just 3 cents. It made 2 cents per share in the year ago quarter.

It was a solid rebound on the sales front from 2009 as well. Sales rose 8% on the quarter, but adjusting for the sale of the European distribution business, it climbed 11.9%.

For the full year, sales increased 10%, or 14.4% if adjusted for the sale of the European distribution business.

The aftermarket has been strong globally due to an aging car population and the closing of car dealerships. The year was also boosted by a hot summer which aided the Temperature Control segment.

Zacks Consensus Estimates Rising for 2011 and 2012

Analysts were encouraged by the fourth quarter results and have been raising 2011 and 2012 estimates.

The 2011 Zacks Consensus jumped 4 cents to $1.14 in the last week. That is earnings growth of 6.5%.

2012 is expected to be better, with earnings growth of 15.2%. The 2012 Zacks Consensus Estimate also rose 4 cents to $1.31 per share in the prior 7 days.

Giving Back to Shareholders

Standard Motor pays a dividend with a current yield of 2.3%. This is under its 5-year average of 3.0% but many of its peers don't pay a dividend at all.

Valuations are also still attractive. Standard Motors has a forward P/E of just 10.7 and a 1-year turn on equity (ROE) of 11.8%.

Shares Pulled Back from 1-Year High

While shares hit new 1-year highs a few weeks ago, they are well off their 2-year highs.

Read the Nov 18, 2010 article.

This Week's Growth & Income Zacks Rank Buy Stocks:

Monsanto Company (MON) stands to benefit from an increase in planted corn acreage this year. Earnings estimates have been rising to reflect this increase, sending the stock to a Zacks #2 Rank (Buy). The company also generates strong cash flows, which it has used to steadily raise its dividend. It currently yields 1.6%. Read the full article.

Legacy Reserves LP (LGCY) is expected to grow earnings by 182% in 2011 and pays a distribution that yields a hefty 6.6%. Valuation is attractive too, with shares sporting a PEG ratio of 0.78. It is a Zacks #2 Rank (Buy) stock. Read the full article.

MarketAccess Holdings Inc. (MKTX) recently delivered its third consecutive positive earnings surprises, sending earnings estimates higher. The company also recently raised its quarterly dividend by 29%. It yields 1.6%. Read the full article.

The Fastenal Corporation (FAST) continues to benefit from an improving economy, with Q4 sales up more than 20%. Although shares aren't cheap on a relative valuation basis, the company has strong fundamentals including no long-term debt, strong free cash flow and superior return on equity. Read the full article.

Tracey Ryniec is the Value Stock Strategist for Zacks.com. She is also the Editor in charge of the market-beating Zacks Value Trader service. You can follow her at twitter.com/traceyryniec.

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