It seems that Tesla Motors (TSLA) is the only auto stock that anyone wants to talk about these days. It’s easy enough to understand why — the stock is up about 70% year to date. And that’s after returning more than 300% in 2013.
But as exciting as the Tesla story has been, we should remember that other auto stocks are more important to the overall auto industry. Tesla expects to sell 35,000 cars this year. To put that in perspective, the global auto industry sold 82.84 million vehicles last year. Tesla, if it meets its goals, will account for 0.04% of global auto sales in 2014.
Not to minimize what Elon Musk has accomplished in creating an attractive, high-performance vehicle that is environmentally friendly … but frankly, Tesla doesn’t matter all that much to the global auto industry.
Apart from Tesla, auto stocks are in the news this week. AutoZone (AZO), the largest American retailer of auto parts and accessories, announced second-quarter earnings today and knocked the ball out of the park.
AutoZone reported profits of $5.63 per share, up from $4.78 per share the previous year. Revenue increased 7.3% to $1.99 billion, and same-store sales grew 4.3%. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected per-share profit of $5.55 and revenue of $1.97 billion.
As the average age of cars on American roads continues to hit new highs — it hit 11.4 years last year — AutoZone should continue to see a steady stream of business, as will some other auto stocks.
Let’s take a look at some other auto stocks that I expect to do well over the next year.