5 Auto Stocks to Watch After The Monthly Car Sales Report

Recently Consumers Digest named the 2012 Best Automotive Buys based on 12 categories, encompassing a number of different automobile companies. In light of today’s U.S. auto sales report, here’s five automobile stocks that are worth a look.

Ford (NYSE:F) : Ford reported its third quarter earnings last week with in-line earnings per share of $0.46 and a 16.5 percent rise in revenue of $31.1 billion from the previous year, beating expectations by $1.10 billion. They also became the best-selling car maker in the US last month.

Looking ahead, the company cited slower China growth and European pricing pressures as reasons to cut its 2011 profit margin forecast to a weak fourth quarter. The company also noted that it did not have a timeline to resume its dividend.

Investing Insights: Ford Motor Company Earnings Cheat Sheet: Two Straight Quarters of Falling Profit.

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM): GM reported total October vehicle sales of 186,895, a two percent increase as compared to the previous year. On Sunday, GM’s chief executive said that he sees a 7 to 10 percent growth in China’s car market this year. CEO Daniel Akerson said of China’s car market,

“In 2009 it grew 50 percent, 2010 it grew roughly 30 percent, that’s not all good either. You can’t have totally unbridled growth in a country evolving as quickly as China,” Daniel Akerson told reporters in Shanghai.

Chrysler Group LLC (FIATY.PK): Chrysler reported October U.S. sales at 114, 512, representing a 27 percent increase as compared to the previous year and its best October sales month since 2007. This is good news for the company after a majority of its skilled-trade workers vote against its tentative UAW labor agreement last week. While local UAW leaders are still looking a contract ratification, the “no” vote could the drive meetings back to the negotiating table.

Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE:HMC): Honda said on Monday that its fiscal second quarter operating profit plummeted 68 percent to ¥$52.5 billion ($693 million) vs. analysts’ ¥63.5 billion forecast. Net profit dove 55 percent to  ¥60.43 billion with revenue only dropping 16 percent to ¥$1.9 trillion. The company, affected by a strong yen and the Thailand floods, has withdrawn its annual guidance for earnings and global sales.

Toyota (NYSE:TM): Toyota, along with other major automakers, are facing parts shortages from suppliers in flood-torn Thailand and are cutting back on production. This comes at a bad time as Japan, recovering its own natural disaster problems from the spring , faces supply chain problems at home. Further evidence from the Thailand fallout, included Toyota recently stopping overtime weekday pay at some domestic factories and seven group assembly companies in response to lower output.

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