For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – January 26, 2018 – 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 Ford Motor Company F, Toyota Motor Corporation TM, Magna International, Inc. MGA and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company GT.

Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Auto Stock Roundup: F, TM, MGA & More

Fourth-quarter 2017 earnings season is in full swing. A few auto companies have already come up with their quarterly numbers. One major automaker which has come out with quarterly results is Ford Motor Company. The company reported adjusted earnings per share of 39 cents in the fourth quarter of 2017, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 42 cents per share. During the quarter, the automaker logged automotive revenues of $41.3 billion, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $37.2 billion.

In fact, it has not been a good week for Ford. Also, the vehicle maker was repeatedly been asked by a Washington-based auto safety group to recall around 1.3 million Explorer sport-utility vehicles (SUVs). A rising number of cases of leakage of exhaust fumes inside the vehicle have prompted the auto safety group to take such an action.

(Read the previous roundup here: Auto Stock Roundup for Jan 18, 2018)

Recap of the Week’s Most Important Stories

1.    Toyota Motor Corporation has announced that it produced 1,983,723 vehicles at its North American vehicle assembly plants in 2017. The primary driving forces behind the 2017 production figures were robust demand for sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and trucks, sustained economic stability, and low price of fuel. However, the production volume is nearly 1% lower than 2,124,608 vehicles produced in 2016.

In North America, Toyota’s total vehicle production has reached nearly 32 million since 1986. Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America (TMNA), said, “Our ongoing success is due to the hard work and dedication of team members at our 14 manufacturing plants in North America.”

The Japanese auto giant will add its 15th manufacturing plant in a JV with Mazda, in Huntsville, Alabama, in 2021. Also, the vehicle manufacturer announced that it will make large amount of investments at its different manufacturing facilities. Earlier this year, Toyota had announced of investing $1.33 billion at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky and that it has invested $373.8 million at five manufacturing plants (read more: Toyota Produces Nearly 2M Vehicles in North America in 2017).

Toyota has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see  the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

2.    Magna International, Inc. announced that it is supporting the production of the new Mercedes-Benz G-Class via contract manufacturing. The model will be assembled at Magna International’s Graz, Austria facility.

Per management, this contract manufacturing of the updated Mercedes-Benz G-Class will enable the company to display its capability and flexibility, as an experienced contract manufacturing partner.

As a highly regarded and famous off-road vehicle brand, this new G-Class has been upgraded with additional technology and space in its interiors (read more: Magna to Manufacture New Mercedes G-Class at Graz Hub).

Magna has a Zacks Rank #3.

3.    Ford has repeatedly been asked by a Washington-based auto safety group to recall around 1.3 million Explorer SUVs, per a Bloomberg report. A rising number of cases of leakage of exhaust fumes inside the vehicle have prompted the auto safety group to take such an action.

According to the Center for Auto Safety, about 1,400 complaints related to the exhaust fumes in SUVs were lodged with the regulators. Fumes in the vehicles had affected a large number of people and more than 80 cases of injuries were reported. Though no cases of death were reported, drivers, who lodged complaints, reported feeling ill, with symptoms of headaches, nausea, dizziness and loss of consciousness.

However, Ford claims that Explorer models are safe. Examination by the automaker has not found carbon monoxide level exceeding what people are actually exposed to on a daily basis. However, the worried customers can opt for a free repair (read more: Ford Pushed to Recall More Than a Million Explorer SUVs).

Ford has a Zacks Rank #3.

4.    The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company plans to launch its fleet services business model for shared mobility providers with the aim of advancing urban fleet operations.

Along with STRATIM, the company will initiate an advanced superior tire maintenance program for vehicles. STRATIM is a startup offering technology platform to track, monitor and oversee fleet maintenance for around 10,000 vehicles, which operate under about 50 mobility services in 25 markets across North America.

Armed with Goodyear’s artificial intelligence technology, this pilot program will help STRATIM’s clients foresee the need to replace or service tires, which in turn will advance their overall fleet management ability and maximize the fleet uptime (read more: Goodyear to Launch Advanced Tire Maintenance Model).

Goodyear Tire has a Zacks Rank #3.

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