Ford and Zipcar Offer Glimpse into Vehicle Market for 2012

Ford Motor Co (NYSE:F) CEO Alan Mulally said Wednesday the worldwide automobile market is estimated to grow by 5% annually over the next two years — driven chiefly by demand in China and India. Ford also launched its EcoSport, a compact SUV planned to be sold globally, and said it would invest $142 million in its Chennai, India plant which would manufacture the Ecosport for Indian and overseas markets.

Though emerging economies (NYSE:EEM) may be buying cars, car sharing is picking up in the U.S. Research firm Needham’s channel checks indicate car sharing firm Zipcar’s (NASDAQ:ZIP) Q4 revenue should top consensus expectations due to better than expected utilization. The firm attributes recent weakness in shares to pre-IPO holders selling after the lock-up expiration and views current levels as an attractive entry point. Needham reiterates a Buy rating on Zipcar shares. Zipcar offers an alternative to car rentals.

Here’s how car manufacturers and car rental companies are trading to start 2012:

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F): F shares recently traded at $11.33, up $0.2, or 1.8%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $9.05 to $18.97. Volume today was 32,133,468 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 58,871,100 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 6.79, while trailing earnings are $1.67 per share.

Zipcar Inc (NASDAQ:ZIP): ZIP shares recently traded at $13.79, down $0.26, or 1.85%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $12.04 to $31.50. Volume today was 70,143 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 492,886 shares.

General Motors Corporation (NYSE:GM): GM shares recently traded at $20.76, down $0.29, or 1.38%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $19.00 to $39.48. Volume today was 3,196,542 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 12,040,600 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 4.54, while trailing earnings are $4.57 per share.

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM): TM shares recently traded at $68.08, up $0.3, or 0.44%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $60.37 to $93.90. Volume today was 115,198 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 523,921 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 40.91, while trailing earnings are $1.66 per share.

Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HTZ): HTZ shares recently traded at $11.91, down $0.04, or 0.33%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $7.80 to $17.64. Volume today was 629,733 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 3,989,040 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 51.78, while trailing earnings are $0.23 per share.

Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. (NYSE:DTG): DTG shares recently traded at $70.34, down $0.22, or 0.31%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $47.39 to $84.27. Volume today was 24,900 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 429,171 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 15.76, while trailing earnings are $4.46 per share.

Avis Budget Group, Inc. (NYSE:CAR): CAR shares recently traded at $10.91, down $0.24, or 2.15%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $8.45 to $19.49. Volume today was 186,348 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 2,103,140 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 11.40, while trailing earnings are $0.96 per share.

To contact the reporter on this story: Damien Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com