Welcome!

News Feed Item

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights:Ford Motor, Toyota Motor, Asbury Automotive Group, AutoNation and Lithia Motors

CHICAGO, Feb. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F-Free Report), Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM-Free Report), Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:ABG-Free Report), AutoNation Inc. (NYSE:AN-Free Report) and Lithia Motors Inc. (NYSE:LAD-Free Report).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

Auto Sales Slide: 3 Stocks to Bet On

A series of economic reports released recently seem to suggest that the economy is facing some trouble. Among these were lower factory orders and weak home sales data, as well as an increase in jobless claims. But disappointing retail data was what was particularly worrying for investors.

Retail Sales Fall

Retail sales declined 0.4% in January and December numbers were also revised downwards. An increase of 0.2% in December has now been changed to a 0.1% decline. This second monthly decline was primarily attributed to freezing temperatures in several regions of the U.S.

Core retail sales, which excludes building materials and food services, gasoline and automobiles, declined by 0.3%, after rising by the same amount in December. But some segments, such as building materials and garden equipment, experienced gains of 1.4%.

In fact, excluding automobiles, retails sales were mostly unchanged. Sales at auto dealers fell 2.1%, leading the pack of decliners. Carmakers also blamed weak sales numbers on unusually frigid temperatures.

Strong 2013 Numbers

Auto sales exceeded analysts' initial expectations for 2013, despite slipping somewhat in December. 15.6 million cars and trucks were sold in the U.S., the highest figure clocked since the 16.1 million recorded in 2007.

Detroit automakers contributed 7.4 million of the total numbers, with the Detroit Three performing particularly well. Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F-Free Report) topped the chart with a 10.8% increase over 2012. Analysts expect sales to slow down this year as pent-up demand declines.

However, profitability is expected to increase and Edmunds.com has even predicted an increase of 6% in 2014. Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM-Free Report) believes U.S. auto sales will continue to recover, albeit slowly. As many emerging markets struggle, carmakers will increasingly focus on mature economies such as the U.S.

Below we present three auto retailers which stand to gain from the continuing recovery in car sales, each of which also has a good Zacks rank.

Asbury Automotive Group, Inc.

One of the leading auto retailers in the U.S., Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:ABG-Free Report) provides a range of automotive services and sells several auto products. Asbury had 99 franchises as of December 31, 2011. At the time, the company sold 30 foreign domestic and brands of vehicles.

Asbury Automotive Group holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and has expected earnings growth of 15.10%. The forward price-to-earnings ratios (P/E) for the current financial year (F1) is 12.34.

AutoNation Inc.

AutoNation Inc. (NYSE:AN-Free Report) is an auto retailer which has three business segments: Import, Premium Luxury and Domestic. The company's stores offers 32 different brands of vehicles. Of its 258 franchises as of December 31, 2011, 215 were located in the U.S. Most of these domestic locations were in the Sunbelt region.

Currently the company holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and has expected earnings growth of 11.90%. It has a P/E (F1) of 15.16.

Lithia Motors Inc.                                                      

Our third choice is Lithia Motors Inc. (NYSE:LAD-Free Report). The company sells cars and light trucks, both used and new, as well as auto parts. Additionally, it is involved in vehicle maintenance, repair, auto related financing and credit insurance. The company sold 25 new brands across 86 domestic stores as of February 24, 2012.

Besides a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), Lithia Motors has expected earnings growth of 9.00%. It has a P/E (F1) of 13.08.

Even though recent data has been below par, the overall outlook for the economy remains upbeat. Fed Chair Janet Yellen has promised to keep interest rates at low levels, despite the proposed cuts in stimulus. This gives credence to the argument that the auto sector will continue to recover, making these stocks good additions to your portfolio.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today.

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978. The later formation of the Zacks Rank, a proprietary stock picking system; continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros.  In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros.

Get the full Report on F - FREE

Get the full Report on TM - FREE

Get the full Report on ABG - FREE

Get the full Report on AN - FREE

Get the full Report on LAD - FREE

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
[email protected]
http://www.zacks.com

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abilit...
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. Commvault can ensure protection, access and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Part...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessio...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, CTO of Embotics, discussed how automation can provide the dynamic management required to cost-effectively deliver microservices and container solutions at scale. He also discussed how flexible automation is the key to effectively bridging and seamlessly coordinating both IT and developer needs for component orchestration across disparate clouds – an increasingly important requirement at today’s multi-cloud enterprise.
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Kelly Looney, director of DevOps consulting for Skytap, showed how an incremental approach to introducing containers into complex, distributed applications results in modernization with less risk and more reward. He also shared the story of how Skytap used Docker to get out of the business of managing infrastructure, and into the business of delivering innovation and business value. Attendees learned how up-front planning allows for a clean sep...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arvind Radhakrishnen discussed how IoT offers new business models in banking and financial services organizations with the capability to revolutionize products, payments, channels, business processes and asset management built on strong architectural foundation. The following topics were covered: How IoT stands to impact various business parameters including customer experience, cost and risk management within BFS organizations.
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Brad Winett, Senior Technologist for DDN Storage, will present several current, end-user environments that are using object storage at scale for cloud deployments including private cloud and cloud providers. Details on the top considerations of features and functions for selecting object storage will be included. Brad will also touch on recent developments in tiering technologies that deliver single solution and an end-user view of data across files and objects...
Given the popularity of the containers, further investment in the telco/cable industry is needed to transition existing VM-based solutions to containerized cloud native deployments. The networking architecture of the solution isolates the network traffic into different network planes (e.g., management, control, and media). This naturally makes support for multiple interfaces in container orchestration engines an indispensable requirement.
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, discussed how AI can simplify cloud operations. He covered the following topics: why cloud mana...