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Bull of the Day: Dana Incorporated (DAN)

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The broader auto industry is drastically changing, from companies like Tesla (TSLA - Free Report) redefining what it means to own a luxury vehicle to Silicon Valley tech giants like Uber helping create new sectors like ride-hailing.

In particular, the auto parts manufacturing space has experienced a surge in demand, with sales rising and vehicle production ramping up over the last few years. This industry will also likely get a boost from the increased focus on autonomous and electric vehicle technology, as well as demand for fuel efficiency components.

One auto space company that has seen its stock rise in 2017 is Dana Incorporated (DAN - Free Report) .

Sitting at a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Dana provides technology driveline, sealing, and thermal-management products. The company is headquartered in Maumee, Ohio, and its operating segments include Light Vehicle Driveline Technologies, Commercial Vehicle Driveline Technologies, Off-Highway Driveline Technologies, and Power Technologies.

Strong Third Quarter Earnings

Last quarter, Dana reported third-quarter results that beat estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Earnings of 59 cents beat the Zacks Consensus of 56 cents per share and soared 20% year-over-year.

Revenues of $1.83 billion also beat our consensus estimate, and grew 32% from the prior-year period. This increase was driven in part by recent acquisitions, while stronger market demand and new business generated 21% organic sales growth.

Raised Guidance for Fiscal 2017

As a result, Dana raised key financial guidance across all of its business units for fiscal 2017.

Sales are now expected between $7 billion and $7.2 billion, while diluted adjusted EPS should fall in the range of $2.30 and $2.50 per share.

Adjusted EBITDA is projected between $820 million and $850 million, and adjusted EBITDA as a percent of sales should now be 11.7% to 11.9%.

Dana is also forecasting cash flow from operations of $530 million to $570 million.

Growth Estimates Have Improved

Dana’s strong Q3 earnings and raised guidance have helped improved the auto parts manufacturer’s growth estimates.

For the current year, the company expects earnings to increase over 26%, with revenues rising about 22% in the same time frame. Five analysts have revised their estimates upward in the last 60 days compared to none lower.

This bullish earnings outlook is stretching into next year as well. The Zacks Consensus has jumped from $2.58 to $2.72 per share in the past 60 days, and sales are expected to increase roughly 6.8% next year as well.

Shares are Surging

DAN has had a pretty impressive run in 2017, and year-to-date, the stock has returned well over 68% compared to the S&P 500’s return of about 18%.

Dana is currently trading with a forward P/E of 13.18.

And it’s not just DAN right now either. Automotive-Original Equipment is an overall strong industry, and sits in the top 18% of all industries that we cover.

Even among this impressive landscape, Dana is a standout at the moment. Thanks to its strong performance and smart international expansion strategies—it hopes to further its presence in China in the coming years—DAN looks to be an intriguing opportunity for investors.

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