3 Transportation Stocks to Buy Now: May 2024


  • Consider taking a position in these auto stocks that are vital to the transportation sector. 
  • AutoZone (AZO): The retailer of car parts is benefitting from the fact that Americans are holding onto their vehicles longer.
  • Copart (CPRT): The market for salvaged vehicles and parts is thriving.
  • Carvana (CVNA): The online retailer of used vehicle has seen its stock rise over 850% in the last 12 months. 
Transportation Stocks to Buy - 3 Transportation Stocks to Buy Now: May 2024

Source: IM_photo / Shutterstock

The transportation sector is vitally important to the economy. With 4.1 million miles of streets and highways, the U.S. has the most extensive road network in the world. Americans continue to love to travel by motor vehicle. In 2023, 75% of the population reported having access to their own car, with an additional 20% of people saying they have access to a company or family car. It wasn’t that long ago that investors were not looking for transportation stocks to buy, but the industry is making a comeback.

The extensive road network and high percentage of vehicle ownership fuels a strong automotive industry within the U.S. Currently, $1.53 trillion in annual revenue is generated from the sale of motor vehicles and parts. Despite some supply constraints coming out of the pandemic, the transportation and automotive sectors have largely recovered from the Covid-19 crisis and are once again firing on all cylinders.

Here are three transportation stocks to buy in May 2024.

AutoZone (AZO)

An AutoZone (AZO) storefront in Saint Augustine, Florida.
Source: Robert Gregory Griffeth / Shutterstock.com

Americans are driving their cars longer than ever before. Industry data shows that people are holding onto their vehicles for nearly 13 years as the cost to replace them continues to rise. This is good news for AutoZone (NYSE:AZO), the largest retailer of automotive parts and supplies in the U.S. With more than 6,000 retail locations across the country, AutoZone dominates the market for car parts.

The fact that people are holding onto their vehicles longer has helped to lift AutoZone’s earnings and share price. The company just reported earnings per share (EPS) of $36.69 and revenue of $4.24 billion for this year’s first quarter. Wall Street had been looking for earnings of $36.01 a share and sales of $4.29 billion. Same-store sales during Q1 grew 2%. Management said they continue to see strong demand for automotive parts as people hold onto aging vehicles amid high prices and long wait times for new models.

AZO stock is up nearly 9% this year and has risen 165% over the past five years.

Copart (CPRT)

Used car market: a row of cars of different makes and models sitting on a lot.
Source: Mikbiz / Shutterstock

Speaking of old cars, Copart (NASDAQ:CPRT) also stands to benefit from the trend of aging automobiles. The company runs an online auction and remarketing service for used and salvaged vehicles. By all accounts, business is booming. Copart has reported fiscal Q3 financial results that beat the consensus forecasts of Wall Street analysts. The company announced EPS of 39 cents, narrowly beating estimates of 38 cents. Revenue in the quarter totaled $1.13 billion, slightly ahead of analyst estimates of $1.11 billion. Overall sales were up 10% from a year earlier.

Each business segment at Copart saw growth in the quarter, with U.S. insurance volumes rising 6.8% year-over-year (YOY), non-insurance business increasing 23% and dealer sales volumes gaining 18%. The company reported having $4.3 billion of cash on hand as of March 31. On an earnings call, management singled out elevated prices for new vehicles as a tailwind for their business.

CPRT stock is up 14% this year and has risen 205% over the last five years.

Carvana (CVNA)

Carvana (CVNA stock) logo on white object in foreground as well as a high-rise building in the background
Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

Sticking with the used car theme, there is also Carvana (NYSE:CVNA) to consider. Shares of the online used car retailer rose 30% after the company reported record quarterly financial results and turned a profit during this year’s first quarter. Carvana announced EPS of 23 cents compared to a loss of 74 cents that was expected among analysts. Revenue totaled $3.06 billion versus $2.67 billion that was forecast.

The financial results set a record at Carvana, which has been in business since 2012. The company’s profit margin for the quarter was 7.7%. The strong print was attributed to operational efficiency gains and the reconditioning of used vehicles for sale. Carvana said it plans more cost reductions this year that will further increase its profitability. The blowout results come after a restructuring at Carvana to focus on profits over growth.

CVNA stock is up 125% this year, including a 46% gain in the last month alone. In the past 12 months, the company’s share price has gained more than 850%. Having made a significant comeback, CVNA should be at the top of investors’ lists for transportation stocks to buy.

On the date of publication, Joel Baglole held a long position in CPRT. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2024/05/3-transportation-stocks-to-buy-now-may-2024/.

©2024 InvestorPlace Media, LLC