3 Undervalued Automotive Stocks to Scoop Up Now

Global car sales fell sharply amid the COVID-19 pandemic as people retreated to their homes, where they spent most of their time under lockdown mandates with nary a thought for automobile purchasing. With  the gradual economic recovery, however,  companies in the sector are witnessing increase in demand…

In fact, in March, the U.S. vehicle market witnessed a strong recovery and saw its first quarter 2021 sales rebound to pre-pandemic levels.

Governments worldwide  are pushing for increased use of electric vehicles (EVs) to transition their countries to a clean energy future. The demand for conventional, internal combustion cars is also expected to increase with an anticipated decline in crude oil prices this year. Investors’ interest in the automotive space is evident in the First Trust NASDAQ Global Auto Index Fund’s (CARZ) 41% returns over the past six months compared to the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust’s (SPY) 23.5% gains over the same period.

While many automotive players are trading at lofty valuations, Oshkosh Corporation (OSK – Get Rating), AutoNation, Inc. (AN – Get Rating), and Isuzu Motors Limited (ISUZY – Get Rating) still look undervalued at their current price levels given their near-term growth prospects. So, we think it could be beneficial to bet on them now.

Click here to check out our Automotive Industry Report for 2021

Oshkosh Corporation (OSK – Get Rating)

Formerly known as Oshkosh Truck Corporation, OSK designs, manufactures, and markets specialty vehicles and vehicle bodies worldwide. It also has a long and successful history in  developing EVs also,  and its technology reduces energy consumption and emissions. The company  operates through four segments mainly—Access equipment, Defense, Fire & Emergency, and Commercial.

OSK’s defense segment’s operating income has increased 70.3% year-over-year to $52.80 million for its fiscal year 2021 first quarter, ended December 31, 2020. The company’s non-GAAP net income has increased 2.9% year-over-year to $77.90 million. Also, its adjusted EPS increased 2.7% year-over-year to $1.13.

For the quarter ending June 30, 2021, analysts expect OSK’s EPS to be  $1.87, which represents a 45% year-over-year increase. It also surpassed  consensus EPS estimates in three of the trailing four quarters. The company’s revenue is expected to increase 5.6% year-over-year to $7.24 billion in fiscal 2021.

In terms of forward EV/Sales, OSK is currently trading at 1.18x, which is 41% lower than the 2x industry average. Its 1.17x forward Price/Sales is 26.9% lower than the 1.60x industry average.

In February, OSK partnered with ALLETE Clean Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of ALLETE, Inc. (ALE), on  a renewable energy sale agreement to develop a wind energy site that is currently under construction in Caddo County in Oklahoma. It is  the first virtual power purchase agreement the company has made and the first offsite purchase of renewable energy. The move represents  a step forward in OSK’s clean air vision, which is expected to generate positive returns soon. The stock has gained 84.7% over the past year and closed yesterday’s trading session at $123.39.

It’s no surprise that OSK has an overall B rating, which equates to BUY in our POWR Ratings system. The POWR Ratings assess stocks by 118 different factors, each with its own weighting.

The stock has an A grade for Value, and a B grade for Sentiment. Click here to see OSK’s rating for Momentum, Stability, Growth, and Quality.

OSK is ranked #19 of 53 stocks in the B-rated Auto and Vehicles Manufacturers industry.

AutoNation, Inc. (AN – Get Rating)

AN offers a range of automotive products and services, including new and used vehicles, and parts and services such as automotive repair and maintenance, and wholesale parts and collision services. It operates primarily  through three segments—Domestic, Import, and Premium Luxury. The company owns and operates 74 AutoNation-branded collision centers, five  AutoNation USA used vehicle stores, four AutoNation-branded automotive auction operations, and three parts distribution centers.

For its fiscal year 2021 first quarter, ended March 31, AN’s total revenues came in at $5.90 billion, indicating 26.5% growth year-over-year. Its gross profit for the quarter increased 27% year-over-year to $1.03 billion. The company’s operating income was  $336.90 million, up 253.6% year-over-year. Its net income came in at $239.50 million, up 203.1% year-over-year, and its adjusted EPS increased 206.6% year-over-year to $2.79.

The company’s EPS is expected to increase 79.4% year-over-year to $2.53 for the current quarter, ending June 30, 2021. AN surpassed consensus EPS estimates in each  of the trailing four quarters. Also, for the quarter ending September 30, 2021, AN’s revenue is

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