The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: The Clorox, General Motors, Volkswagen AG, Toyota Motor and Ford Motor - Press Releases


Shutterstock photo

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - May 16, 2012 - 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 The Clorox ( CLX ), General Motors ( GM ), Volkswagen AG ( VLKAY ), Toyota Motor ( TM ) and Ford Motor ( F ).

Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter:

Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

Clorox Raises Dividend


Amid the prevailing economic uncertainties, investors are always on the lookout for the best possible return from stocks in their portfolio. In a bid to boost shareholder return, The Clorox Company ( CLX ) recently increased its quarterly dividend by 6.7% or 4 cents to 64 cents per share. Earlier, the company used to pay 60 cents per share.

The increased dividend will be paid on August 10, 2012 to the shareholders of record as of July 25, 2012. The annualized dividend yield based on the increased dividend and current stock price is 3.7%.

Previously, on May 18, 2011, Clorox raised its dividend to 60 cents from 55 cents per share, reflecting an increase of 9%.

Dividend increase has emerged as a trend among companies having a stable cash position and healthy cash flow. The dividend hike not only enhances shareholders' return but also raise the market value of the stock.

Following the same trend, Clorox raised its dividend on the anticipation of higher free cash flow generation. Clorox expects to generate free cash flow of about 9% to 10% of sales during fiscal 2012 and 2013. Moreover, the company's assertion of increase in dividend clearly signifies the ability to generate liquidity and its potential to improve in the long-run.



Chinese Auto Sector Picking Up


China's auto sector was rejuvenated in April by posting 5% growth in sales to 1.62 million vehicles after recording a slack first quarter of the year. However, sales in the first four months of the year slid 1.3% to 6.4 million vehicles, owing to tighter credit policies and slower economic growth.

In January-March, auto sales fell 3.4% compared with a handsome 32% growth in 2010 due to stricter government regulations on new car registrations in order to control the traffic congestions and the same factors stated above.

According to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), passenger car sales rose 12.5% to 1.28 million vehicles during the month. Although the spike in sales growth during the month can be attributable to depressing comparable month of last year on the back of disruptions caused by the twin disaster in Japan on March 11, 2011, there is no way we can undermine the impact of other factors on sales.

In fact, some economists and auto trade associations believe that April sales clearly show a trend towards recovery as surveys indicated increasing manufacturing activity during the month. Further, they expect global demand for Chinese exports to improve.

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) - the top-automaker in China -registered a 12.6% rise in sales to 367,600 vehicles in April. Sales at its joint venture with General Motors Company ( GM ) slipped 0.1% to 97,656 cars and with Volkswagen AG ( VLKAY ) increased 10.2% to 110,255 vehicles.

GM's total sales in China grew 11.7% to 227,217 vehicles. Shanghai GM sales went down 2.2% to 94,101 units while SAIC-GM-Wuling sales went up 27 % to 127,362 units.

Toyota Motor Corp. 's ( TM ) sales surged 68% to 82,000 vehicles in the country. The higher sales growth can be attributable to a weaker comparable month of 2011 following the Japan disaster.

Meanwhile, Ford Motor Co. ( F ) recorded a 24% rise in sales to 54,881 units driven by strong demand for the new Ford Focus, which is the first of the 15 new vehicles the automaker plans to introduce in China by 2015.

Sales at Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co.- a three-way joint venture with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. and Mazda Motor Corp.- totaled 34,108 units in April, up significantly by 30% from April last year. Meanwhile, sales at Jiangling Motors Corp., the company's commercial vehicle joint venture, registered a 16% growth to 20,773 vehicles during the month.

In April, U.S. saw sluggish 2.3% growth in light vehicle sales in April 2012 to 1.18 million units from 1.16 million units in the same month last year. Meanwhile, it rose 9.5% to seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 14.42 million units from 13.17 million units in April 2011.

The sluggish growth can be attributable to lower sales recorded by GM and Ford, and fewer selling days (due to more Sundays than April last year). But thanks to the fuel-efficient lineups and pent up demand that kept the auto sales recovery in the U.S. on track.

Auto sales in China had grown at a double-digit pace since 1999, except in 2008 when the global economic crisis crept in. In 2009, China overtook the U.S. as the biggest auto market in the world by sales volumes when the Beijing government introduced a stimulus package, including tax incentives for small cars with engine sizes of 1.6 liters or smaller.

However, the incentives were scrapped last year and the Beijing government imposed quotas on new car registrations in order to control the traffic congestions. As a result, new car deliveries plummeted 56% to 403,500 units in 2011.

Nevertheless, China's automotive industry outlook is promising in 2012. According to CAAM, car sales in 2012 is expected to grow by 9% in the country, which is much higher than 2011 (5.2%). With a little support from the government to remove sales barriers, we believe the world's largest auto market could reach the summit.


 Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: .

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today:

About Zacks is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at .

Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Follow us on Twitter:

Join us on Facebook:

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339

CLOROX CO (CLX): Free Stock Analysis Report
FORD MOTOR CO (F): Free Stock Analysis Report
GENERAL MOTORS (GM): Free Stock Analysis Report
TOYOTA MOTOR CP (TM): Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on click here.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Stocks
More Headlines for: CLX , F , GM , TM

More from


Equity Research
Follow on:

Find a Credit Card

Select a credit card product by:
Select an offer:
Data Provided by