To promote the sale of electric vehicles, four automakers have decided to form a joint venture to create a network of electric charging stations in Europe. This will help them to compete with Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA - Free Report) , which has been benefiting from its network of Supercharges. Meanwhile, Tesla received permission to open stores in Richmond, VA, while Thor Industries Inc. (THO - Free Report) posted strong earnings and revenues for first-quarter fiscal 2017. Further, Toyota Motor Corporation (TM - Free Report) and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (HMC - Free Report) reported their production figures for October.
(Read the previous roundup here: Auto Stock Roundup for Nov 24, 2016)
Recap of the Week’s Most Important Stories
1. Ford Motor Company (F - Free Report) is teaming up with BMW, Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG (including Audi and Porsche) to set up an electric charging network in Europe based on the Combined Charging System standard technology. Construction of the charging stations will commence in 2017 with an initial goal of 400 locations. Within 2020, the companies aim to build a network of thousands of charging points (read more: Ford & Other Automakers to Form European Charging Network).
2. Thor Industries reported first-quarter (ended Oct 31, 2016) fiscal 2017 earnings of $1.49 per share that surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.23. Earnings surged 55.2% from 96 cents per share recorded in the first quarter of fiscal 2016.
Revenues rose 65.8% year over year to $1.71 billion, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.52 billion. The year-over-year improvement was driven by higher sales of towable and motorized RVs, along with benefits from the Jayco acquisition (read more: Thor Industries Q1 Earnings Top Estimates, Surge Y/Y).
Currently, Thor Industries has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
3. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner decreed that Tesla can open stores in Richmond. While the state’s law doesn’t allow automakers to operate dealerships, the commissioner gave the ruling as there is no independent dealer in the area. The decision is favorable for Tesla, which uses a direct-selling model for its vehicles and has been facing opposition related to it from many states.
Currently, Tesla has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
4. Toyota’s total worldwide production declined 5.1% year over year to 860,963 units in Oct 2016. This resulted from a 5.1% production cut in Japan to 331,034 units and a 5.1% decline in production outside Japan to 529,929 units. Total sales in Japan dropped 1.1% to 174,824 units, while exports from Japan dropped 4.4% year over year to 162,143 units (read more: Toyota’s October Production & Sales in Japan Down Y/Y).
Toyota currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
5. Honda’s production in Japan declined 1.3% to 74,490 units in October. Production outside Japan increased 2.8% to 347,644 units, which was a record high for the month of October. Consequently, worldwide production volume for Oct 2016 was 422,134 units, up 2% from the figure reported in Oct 2015. The automaker’s global production volume was a record high for the month of October. Sales in the Japanese market improved 3.3% year over year to 57,136 units in October, while exports from Japan soared 12.1% year over year to 12,461 units.
Honda currently carries a Zacks Rank #4.
The performance of auto sector companies was mostly positive last week. Honda was leading the gainers with a 3.7% rise. Meanwhile, AutoZone, Inc. (AZO - Free Report) and Tesla posted the largest losses among the stocks listed below.
Even over the last six months, most auto stocks performed well. Harley-Davidson, Inc. (HOG - Free Report) gained the most over the longer term, while Tesla lost the most.
Last 1-Week Period
Last 6 Months
What’s Next in the Auto Space?
Later today, automakers will report their U.S. sales for November. Also, Ford will pay a quarterly cash dividend of 15 cents per share to shareholders of record as of Oct 27.
On Dec 6, AutoZone will release its fiscal first-quarter financial results.
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