A semiconductor shortage, production shutdowns, and other pandemic-led headwinds have negatively impacted the automotive industry. In addition, escalating geopolitical tensions and looming interest rate increases have further exacerbated the sector’s negative performance. However, fundamentally sound automotive stocks Honda Motor (HMC), Blue Bird Corporation (BLBD), and Vicinity Motor (VEV) have been trading higher year-to-date despite the challenges. So, let’s take a closer look at these stocks.
Global equities markets continue to be volatile in the face of growing geopolitical tensions in Europe. The automobile industry continues to deal with a protracted semiconductor chip shortage and supply chain crisis and the sector’s performance has suffered even more amid the surging market volatility.
However, the robust demand for both used and new cars aided the performance of a few automotive stocks. According to Michelle Krebs, an executive analyst for Cox, there are already signs that the number of available automobiles at dealerships is increasingreaching more than one million last month for the first time since August.
Furthermore, the sector is expected to exhibit solid improvement in the coming months. So, we think it could be worth watching quality auto stocks Honda Motor Company, Ltd. (HMC), Blue Bird Corporation (BLBD), and Vicinity Motor Corp. (VEV), which have been trending higher since the beginning of the year.
Honda Motor Company, Ltd. (HMC)
Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, HMC manufactures, develops, and distributes motorcycles, automobiles, power products, and other products globally. It operates primarily through four segments: Motorcycle Business; Automobile Business; Financial Services Business; and Life creation and Other Businesses.
HMC’s net sales came in at ¥ 3688.7 billion ($ 31.92 billion) for the third quarter, ended Dec. 31, 2021. Its operating profit amounted to ¥ 229.40 billion ($ 1.99 billion). The company reported a net profit of ¥ 192.9 billion ($ 1.67 billion).
Analysts expect HMC’s revenue to increase 2.1% year-over-year to $ 33.85 billion for the fourth quarter, ending March 31, 2022. Further, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history; it surpassed the consensus EPS estimates in three of the trailing four quarters. The stock has soared 9.14% in price year-to-date and 8.72% over the past three months.
Blue Bird Corporation (BLBD)
BLBD in Fort Valley, Ga., manufactures, designs, engineers, and sells school buses and related parts internationally. The company operates through two segments: Bus and Parts. It provides Type C, Type D, and specialty buses; and substitutes fuel applications through propane-powered, gasoline-powered, compressed natural gas-powered, and electric-powered school buses.
In December, Nuvve Holding Corp., a global cleantech company, and Colorado / West Equipment, Inc. (Colorado / West), a BLBD dealership, announced the formation of the first vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capable electric school bus in the state of Colorado at Durango School. Nuvve’s V2G technology was combined with all Blue Bird Vision Type C and All-American Type D buses, allowing bidirectional charging and utilizing stored energy in the bus batteries to supply power back to the grid.
During the first quarter, Jan ended. 1, 2022, BLBD’s net sales amounted to $ 129.22 million. The company’s gross profit grew 11.1% from its year-ago value to $ 16.20 million, while its adjusted EBITDA was $ 3.60 million over this period. The company’s cash and cash equivalents stood at $ 4.07 million for the three months ended Jan. 01, 2022.
BLBD is expected to generate $ 265.60 million in revenue, representing 38.2% year-over-year growth for its fourth fiscal quarter, ending Sept. 30, 2022. The $ 0.35 consensus EPS estimate for the fourth quarter, ending Sept. 30, 2022, indicates a 400% improvement year-over-year. The company’s shares have surged 34.9% in price year-to-date and 44.2% over the past month.
Vicinity Motor Corp. (VEV)
Headquartered in Aldergrove, Canada, VEV is primarily engaged in designing, manufacturing, and selling Vicinity branded mid-size multi-purpose transit vehicles for public, commercial enterprises in the United States and Canada. VEV provides buses in clean diesel, gas, and CNG drive systems and manufactures and sells spare parts.
This month, VEV signed a sales and marketing agreement with Paradigm Automotive Corporation, an automotive sale, leasing, and fitting company, which comprised an initial CAD12 million order for 100 VMC 1200 Class 3 electric trucks. Paradigm was assigned as VEV’s exclusive dealer in the Hamilton and Niagara regions of Ontario. Rob Burda, General Manager at Paradigm, said that due to the shortage of 3EV trucks, VMC 1200’s ample range, straightforward operation, and attractive price paired with Vicinity’s longstanding reputation for quality would make it a solid contender for everyday use on job sites.
Also this month, VEV entered a sales and marketing agreement with Skydome, an automotive dealer and service center, which includes an initial order for 50 VMC 1200 Class 3 electric trucks. Skydome has also been designated as VEV’s exclusive dealer in Brampton, a part of the Greater Toronto region in Ontario, Canada.
For the third quarter, ending Sept. 30, 2021, VEV’s net sales amounted to CAD2.92 million ($ 2.30 million). Its cash and cash equivalent stood at CAD4.96 million ($ 3.90 million), representing an increase of 286.3% for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2021. Also, the stock has gained 4% in price so far this year and 22.6% over the past month.
HMC shares were trading at $ 30.54 per share on Monday morning, down $ 0.51 (-1.64%). Year-to-date, HMC has gained 7.35%, versus a -8.94% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
About the Author: Pragya Pandey
Pragya is an equity research analyst and financial journalist with a passion for investing. In college she majored in finance and is currently pursuing the CFA program and is a Level II candidate.
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