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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Harley-Davidson, General Motors, Ford Motor, Tesla Motors and Advance Auto Parts

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 22, 2016 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Harley-Davidson, Inc. (HOG), General Motors Company (GM), Ford Motor Co. (F), Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA) and Advance Auto Parts Inc. (AAP).

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Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Auto Stock Roundup: Driving Straight into Q1 Earnings

The auto sector is yet to enter the full-fledged earnings season, with only a handful of earnings releases seen last week. The most notable among them was from Harley-Davidson, Inc. (HOG), which reported strong results. Meanwhile, General Motors Company (GM) reported a decline in first-quarter global sales volume and Ford Motor Co. (F) reported a rise in Europe sales for the same period. Further, U.S. regulators revealed that the Takata airbag recall may be expanded further, whileConsumer Reports revealed quality snags that are being reported by Tesla Motors, Inc.’s (TSLA) Model X owners.

(Read the previous roundup here: Auto Stock Roundup for Apr 14, 2016 )

Recap of the Week’s Most Important Stories

1. Harley-Davidson reported earnings of $1.36 per share in the first quarter of 2016, higher than $1.27 recorded in the year-ago quarter. Moreover, earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.28. Revenues from Motorcycles and Related Products improved to $1.58 billion in first-quarter 2016 from $1.51 billion in the year-ago quarter. Further, the figure topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.49 billion.

Harley-Davidson reaffirmed its guidance for motorcycle shipments in 2016 at 269,000–274,000 units, up 1–3% year over year. The company also reiterated its guidance for operating margin from the Motorcycles segment in the range of 16–17% (read more: Harley-Davidson Q1 Earnings Beat, View Reaffirmed ).

2. General Motors recorded a 2.5% decrease in global sales to 2.36 million vehicles in the first quarter of 2016. The decline was due to challenges being faced in South America and Asia, as well as a weaker mini-commercial vehicle market in China. These weaknesses offset the benefit of strong retail sales in the U.S., and SUV and luxury segment sales in China.

3. Ford recorded a 3.7% year-over-year rise in sales to 174,800 vehicles in its 20 traditional European markets (Euro 20) in Mar 2016. With this, the automaker lagged the industry’s sales growth rate of 5.8%. In the first quarter of 2016, Ford’s sales increased 8.5% to 363,500 vehicles (read more: Ford's Europe Sales Rise 3.7% in March, 8.5% in Q1 ).

4. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that another 85 million airbags made by Takata may be recalled, unless the company proves their safety. These include 43.4 million passenger side inflators, 26.9 million side air bag inflators and 14.5 million driver side inflators. The defective Takata airbags can explode, shooting metal fragments and injuring passengers, in case of a car crash. There have been at least 11 fatalities and 100 injuries globally due to these faulty airbags.

5. Consumer Reports magazine revealed that Tesla’s Model X has been facing many quality issues, including problems with the falcon wing doors as well as climate controls and faulty seats. Some owners also reported issues with paint quality and double vision of headlights and taillights at night due to the large windshield. However, the magazine also reported that Model X owners are appreciating Tesla’ swift action in addressing these issues.

Performance

Auto stocks had mixed fortunes in the stock market over the last week. General Motors was leading the list of gainers, closely followed by Ford. Meanwhile, Tesla was the biggest loser among the ones listed below over the week, although it was the biggest gainer over the last six months. Advance Auto Parts Inc. (AAP) lost the maximum over the longer term.

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HARLEY-DAVIDSON (HOG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
GENERAL MOTORS (GM): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
FORD MOTOR CO (F): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
TESLA MOTORS (TSLA): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ADVANCE AUTO PT (AAP): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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