) hit 52-week high of $56.70 on Mar 15. Shares of the company
started escalating, buoyed up by its impressive fourth quarter
results, aggressive share repurchase strategy, optimistic
guidance and promises of boosting shareholder value in the
future. Their previous 52-week high was $56.08.
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Lear Corporation designs, manufactures, assembles and supplies
automotive seat systems, electrical distribution systems and
related components primarily to automotive original equipment
manufacturers. The company sells its products mainly in North
America, South America, Europe and Asia. It has a market cap of
Lear posted a 17.5% rise in adjusted earnings per share to $1.48
in the fourth quarter of 2012 from $1.26 in the corresponding
quarter last year. Profits in the quarter beat the Zacks
Consensus Estimate by a dime.
Revenues increased 6% to $3.7 million in the reported quarter,
surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.5 million. Global
industry production increased 2% year over year, with a 10% hike
in North America and 4% rise in China.
During 2012, Lear repurchased 5.4 million shares for $223
million. Since the inception of the share repurchase program, the
company has repurchased 11.5 million shares for $502 million.
In Jan 2013, the board of directors of Lear has authorized an
additional $800 million for repurchase under the existing share
repurchase program and extended the authorization till Jan 10,
2016. With this, the company had approximately $1.0 billion worth
of shares remaining under its share repurchase program at the end
of the quarter. In 2013, Lear anticipates higher revenues between
$15.0 and $15.5 billion compared with $14.6 billion in 2012.
Currently, Lear retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). While we remain
on the sidelines about the company, stocks from the same industry
that warrant a look include
STRATTEC Security Corporation
).. All of them carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).