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Mixed Bag for Auto Stocks: Analysts' Recommendations in March

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Mixed Bag for Auto Stocks: Analysts' Recommendations in March PART 1 OF 8

Analyzing Auto Stocks’ Performance in 1Q17

Auto industry

In the first two months of 2017, US auto sales remained weak on a YoY (year-over-year) basis. Despite softening US auto sales, most mainstream automakers’ stocks are largely outperforming the broader market (SPY). Low oil prices are continuing to drive higher sales of truck and utility vehicles, while the demand for small cars continues to be lower. Now, let’s take a quick look at how auto stocks have traded in 2017.

Analyzing Auto Stocks&#8217; Performance in 1Q17

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Auto stocks in 1Q17

Fiscal 2017 started on a positive note for most auto stocks. As of March 16, General Motors (GM), the largest US automaker, has risen ~6.4% on a YTD (year-to-date) basis. General Motors’ strong margins from strengthening retail sales could be the primary reason for the gains on Wall Street. The gains were equal to the S&P 500 Index’s 6.4% increase in 2017.

Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) and Tesla (TSLA) also outperformed the broader market by a big margin. On a YTD basis, Fiat Chrysler and Tesla rose 27.0% and 22.6%, respectively.

In contrast, Ford (F) stock managed to remain in positive territory with a 4.7% increase in 2017. Ford’s weak outlook for fiscal 2017 could be the primary reason for its underperformance on Wall Street.

Series overview

In this series, we’ll explore what Wall Street analysts are recommending for auto stocks in March 2017. We’ll also take a quick look at key highlights from auto companies’ recent earnings.

Read Do Automakers’ Recent Performances Bode Well for Rest of 2017? to learn more about mainstream automakers’ recent earnings.

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