Market Overview

Auto Stock Roundup: GM, Honda, Tesla And More

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Past week saw automakers release their new-vehicle sales figures for April. Some important automakers reported lower new-vehicle sales in the United States in April. For some automakers, sales decline followed a poor performance in February and a jump in sales for March. In fact, waning consumer demand and intensified competition can be attributed to this decline.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) posted a 4.7% decline in sales, with 2.6% decrease in retail sales to consumers. General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) is no longer reporting monthly sales and planned to report the figures on a quarterly basis instead. Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE: TM) posted a 4.7% decline in sales for April while Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE: FCAU) posted an overall sales increase of 5%.

In 2017, auto sales declined 2% after setting a sales record of 7.55 million units in 2016. Moreover, sales are likely to decline further in 2018 due to an increase in monthly repayment amount as the interest rate goes up and the return of a large number of nearly-new vehicles after the expiration of the lease.

Recap of the Week's Most Important Stories

1.    General Motors reported first-quarter 2018 adjusted earnings per share of $1.43, down 18.3% from the prior-year quarter. However, the bottom line comfortably beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.22. General Motors' crossover sales in first-quarter 2018 rose 23% on a year-over-year basis.

General Motors reported revenues of $36.1 billion, reflecting a decline of 3.1% from the year-ago quarter. However, revenues surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $34.1 billion.

During the reported quarter, total sales for the wholesale unit declined to 1.16 million from 1.24 million in the first quarter of 2017. Worldwide retail-unit sales decreased to 2.10 million from 2.34 million in the year-ago quarter. The automaker's global market share was 11.4% during the reported quarter, reflecting a decline from 11.6% in the year-ago quarter.

2.    Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (NYSE: HMC) reported consolidated income of ¥107.7 billion or ¥60.59 per share (56 cents per ADR) in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 (ended Mar 31, 2018), up 12.3% from the year-ago period. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings per share during the reported quarter was 46 cents.

Consolidated sales revenues increased 4% year over year to ¥3.91 trillion ($36.1 billion). The figure surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $34.7 billion. The year-over-year increase can be attributed to higher revenues in all business operations despite unfavorable foreign currency translations.

Consolidated operating profit was ¥126.8 billion, reflecting a decrease of 8.2% from the prior-year quarter, attributable to an increase in selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses and unfavorable currency effects despite continuous efforts to cut costs.

3.    Autoliv, Inc. (NYSE: ALV) reported adjusted earnings of $1.66 per share in first-quarter 2018, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.81. However, the bottom line improved from the prior-year quarter's $1.65.

During the quarter under review, Autoliv reported net sales of $2.81 billion, reflecting an increase of 7.8% year over year. Also, the top line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.79 billion.

Operating income gained 3.6% to $225.4 million. Adjusted operating margin was 8.8% in the reported quarter, higher than the prior-year quarter's figure of 8.4%.

Sales at the Passive Safety segment increased 9.7% year over year to $2.24 billion in the reported quarter. Excluding positive currency translation effects, organic sales increased 1.4%. The segment's operating income increased 10% year over year to $225.3 million.

Sales in the Electronics segment increased 1.8% year over year to $594 million. Excluding positive currency-translation effects, organic sales declined 4.1%. This decline was due to the phase-out effect of certain models with Restraint Control Systems and Brake Systems, which more than offset growth in Active Safety. The segment's operating income increased 122% year over year to $30.2 million.

4.    Johnson Controls International plc (NYSE: JCI) reported adjusted earnings of 53 cents per share in second-quarter fiscal 2018, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 52 cents. Moreover, earnings increased 6% from 50 cents per share registered in second-quarter fiscal 2017.

Johnson Controls reported revenues of $7.48 billion, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $7.45 billion. Revenues increased 3% year over year.

Cost of sales increased to $5.26 billion from $4.99 billion in the year-ago quarter. Gross profit decreased to $2.22 billion from $2.28 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Selling, general and administrative expenses in the fiscal second quarter totaled $1.59 billion, decreasing from the prior-year quarter figure of $1.73 billion.

5.    Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) incurred an adjusted loss of $3.35 per share in first-quarter 2018, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of the loss of $3.37. The company reported loss of $1.33 per share in the prior-year quarter.

The reported net loss in the quarter under review was $784.6 million compared with the year-ago net loss of $397.2 million.

Revenues increased to $3.41 billion from $2.70 billion registered in first-quarter 2017. The figure surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.17 billion.

Tesla produced 34,494 vehicles in first-quarter 2018, up 40% sequentially. This happens to be the most productive quarter in the history of Tesla. Out of total vehicles produced, 24,728 were Model S and Model X while 9,766 were Model 3. Also, during the reported quarter, the company delivered 29,997 vehicles, including 21,815 Model S and Model X vehicles along with 8,182 Model 3 vehicles.

Total automotive revenues, including revenues from automotive sales and leasing, increased 19% year over year to $2.74 billion in the reported quarter. The rise was due to Model 3 deliveries and the adoption of new accounting standards.

Energy generation and storage revenues soared from $213.9 million in first-quarter 2017 to $410 million in the reported quarter. The rise was mainly due to considerable growth of energy-storage deployments.

Services and other revenues increased 37% year over year, primarily due to higher used-car sales.

Tesla's first-quarter 2018 automotive gross margin was 18.8%, declining 904 basis points (bps) from first-quarter 2017.

Energy generation and storage gross margin declined 2,061 bps on a year-over-year basis to 8.5%.

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The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

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