I don't care what the bearish pundits are saying about the U.S. economy. While I don't hesitate to turn bearish if the data bolster that view, I have learned to tune out the unsupported fear-mongering, political posturing and cherry picked-data of the prophets of doom.
Not only are these agenda-driven observers wrong most of the time, they rarely change their bearish tune. This means that when we actually enter a bear market, the bearish prognosticators claim victory. However, just like a stuck clock that's right twice a day, the reality of their consistent errors is usually apparent.
Clearly, the current super-bull market is one of global impact. I think the auto sector is undoubtedly supportive of my current ultra-bullish stance.
Global auto sales have soared this year on the strength of the continued U.S. economic recovery. Virtually all the major automakers surpassed analysts' earnings estimates in the second quarter, and 70% came out ahead of revenue estimates. Earnings climbed just over 14% and revenues pushed ahead by nearly 5% year over year. In the United States, auto sales hit a five-year high last year, rising 13% to 14.5 million vehicles. In August of this year, auto sales jumped 17% to 1.5 million, the highest number since 2007 and putting the U.S. auto market on track for sales of over 16 million by year's end.
In fact, the auto business is so hot, dealers are complaining they don't have enough inventory to meet demand. The heavy U.S. sales are attributed to a record average vehicle age of more than 11 years, an overall improvement in the economy and specifically the housing market, and looser lending standards and lower rates. These factors are strong motivations for consumers to upgrade to newer vehicles.
Things are even brighter on a global scale. China and India are on track to report 40% growth in the auto business over the next seven years. Ford (NYSE: F) anticipates Asia will increase its global sales 50% by 2015.
These facts led me to turn to lesser-known international automakers, such as an India-based company that is positioned for continued profitability: Tata Motors (NYSE: TTM).
|Tata's acquisition of Jaguar Land Rover from Ford five years ago provided the company entry into the lucrative global luxury market.|
This Mumbai-based manufacturer of commercial and passenger vehicles trades as an American depositary receipt (ADR) on the New York Stock Exchange. Although Tata is only the world's 18th largest automaker, it boasts a nearly $20 billion market cap and has a trailing 12-month revenue stream of more than $34 billion with year-over-year revenue growth of close to 13%.
What has me excited about the future growth potential of this brand is threefold. First, Tata's president, Ranjit Yadav, is a car fanatic with a passion for the world's greatest automobiles. This passion from Tata's leader can only translate into more innovation and creativity in its auto lines going forward.
Second, Tata's acquisition of Jaguar Land Rover from Ford five years ago provided the company entry into the lucrative global luxury market. Both brands have released popular new models that have helped drive the group's sales up a seasonally adjusted 17% year over year. Breaking this growth down translates into 11% gains for Land Rover and a close to 42% increase for Jaguar. China is leading the world for both brands, with an astounding 217% sales increase and a nearly 30% increase for Land Rover.
Third, the technical picture shows a strong uptrend from a wide double bottom on the daily chart. The double bottom starts June 24 and price tests resistance again at the end of August. Since this time, the stock soared around 50% higher to above $32. Shares have since fallen back, finding resistance in the $30 range.
Risks to Consider: Tata is tightly tied to global economic growth. A slowdown or other issues in China or the U.S. would adversely affect share price. An investment in Tata is a bullish bet on the global economy. Always use stop-loss orders and diversify properly when investing.
Action to Take --> I love Tata in the $30 area. However, I am going to wait for some upward momentum to confirm further upside. Buying on a daily breakout close above the $32 high with $40 being the 12-month target makes good sense.