In just the last decade, the automotive industry has drastically changed, in ways that we likely haven’t really noticed. Companies like Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) are redefining what it means to own a luxury vehicle, while Silicon Valley tech giants like Uber have not only helped create a new industry—ride-hailing—but it is also (controversially) working to further the development of self-driving vehicles.
And Uber isn’t just the only one. There is, of course, its burgeoning arch-nemesis Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) with its own self-driving car unit, Waymo, in addition to the laundry list of traditional automakers like Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) hoping to debut this technology in the near future.
While the dream of fully-functioning self-driving cars and other big technologies certainly loom both near and far, there are other facets of the auto industry that investors should make sure do not get lost in the shuffle. With this in mind, check out these three auto stocks to buy now.
Best Auto Stocks Right Now: Paccar Inc (PCAR)
Headquartered in Bellevue, WA, Paccar Inc (NASDAQ:PCAR) designs and manufactures premium light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks. Its Truck segment operates under the Kenworth, Peterbilt, and DAF nameplates, while its Parts division includes the distribution of aftermarket parts for trucks and related commercial vehicles in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, Mexico and South America.
Right now, Paccar is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and shares have risen about 70% this year. For the current quarter, the truck manufacturer expects earnings growth of 33.7%–seven analysts have revised their estimates upwards in the past 30 days—and long-term EPS growth of 10%. Paccar also sits in a strong industry; Automotive-Domestic is in the top 20% of the Zacks Industry Rank.
Paccar’s value metrics look good, and has a forward P/E of 16.86. While PCAR is more expensive compared to its broader industry’s price-to-earnings, the stock has traded below the S&P 500 since the end of March.
Best Auto Stocks Right Now: Cummins Inc. (CMI)
Together with its subsidiaries, Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI) designs and distributes diesel and natural gas engines, and engine-related component products worldwide. The company operates through its Engine, Distribution, Components, and Power Systems segments. Cummins is based in Columbus, IN.
A #1 (Strong Buy) on the Zacks Rank, shares of Cummins have returned about 25% so far in 2017. Current quarter estimates show earnings growing nearly 16% year-over-year, and six analysts have revised their estimates upwards. Over the long-term, the company expects EPS to rise about 12.1%. Like Paccar, Cummins is in a very strong industry; Automotive-Internal Combustion Engines is in the top 4% of the Zacks Industry Rank.
With a forward P/E of just about 17, CMI’s valuation is in-line with its industry average, though it has traded below the S&P 500 since the end of April. The company’s price-to-sales is 1.47, while its PEG ratio is 1.4, two metrics that are also on par with the industry.
Best Auto Stocks Right Now: Volvo (VLVLY)
Volvo AB (OTCMKTS:VLVLY) is the parent company of Volvo Group, and it manufactures trucks, buses, construction equipment, diesel engines, and marine and industrial engines; it also provides solutions for financing and service. The company’s brand portfolio consists of Volvo, Volvo Penta, UD, Terex Trucks, Renault Trucks, Prevost, Nova Bus and Mack.
Shares of Volvo have surged well over 80% year-to-date, and the company sits at a #1 (Strong Buy) on the Zacks Rank. For the current quarter, Volvo anticipates earnings growth of about 34.6%, with sales rising 19.3% during the same time frame.
Long-term EPS growth is 15% for the next 3-5 years. The company is also in a well-performing industry, and Automotive-Original Equipment sits in the top 16% if the Zacks Industry Rank.
VLVLY is a relatively cheap stock, with a forward P/E of 15.9. While the company is more expensive than its average industry’s price-to-earnings at the moment, it has traded below the S&P 500 for most of the past year.
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