The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Joy Global, Magna International, General Motors, Honda Motor and Toyota Motor - Press Releases

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - December 15, 2011 - 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 Joy Global Inc. ( JOY ), Magna International Inc. ( MGA ), General Motors ( GM ), Honda Motor ( HMC ) and Toyota Motor ( TM ).

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Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:

Joy Global Lags, Bookings Improve

Joy Global Inc. ( JOY ) reported adjusted earnings of $1.83 per share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, compared with $1.39 per share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. The results of the company were 2 cents lower than the Zacks Consensus expectation of $1.85 for the quarter.

Fiscal 2011 adjusted earnings of Joy Global were $5.92 per share, compared with $4.40 per share in fiscal 2010. The results of the company were 4 cents higher than the Zacks Consensus expectation of $5.88 for the fiscal year.

GAAP earnings per share during the fourth quarter were $1.61 and its fiscal earnings were $5.72. The difference between GAAP and operating earnings in the quarter and the fiscal year emanated from the impact of discontinued operation.

Fourth Quarter Highlights

During the quarter under review Underground Mining Machinery as well as Surface Mining Equipment experienced year-over-year gains due to higher shipments, while sales were up in all markets.

Joy Global's operating profit in the fourth quarter was $296.3 million versus $226.6 million in the year-ago period, reflecting a year-over-year growth of 22.2%. The positive impact from aftermarket sales, higher sales volume, and favorable manufacturing overhead absorption drove the upside.

Fiscal 2011 Highlights

Total bookings at Joy Global during the fiscal year touched the $5.59 billion mark, up a significant 44.3% from the previous year-end level of $3.87 billion. The results were driven by strong bookings in Australia, South America and U.S.

At fiscal year end, total backlog was $3.3 billion, up $1.5 billion from the prior year. The growth reflects a positive book-to-bill ratio along with contributions from the LeTourneau acquisition.

Net interest expense in 2011 was $24 million, up $7 million from 2010 levels. The increase stemmed from acquisition financing.

Our View

Despite slightly disappointing results this fiscal, we are encouraged by the company's strong year-end booking and backlog. We believe the acquired assets will boost performance going ahead. Besides, increasing demand for mining equipment in U.S., China and India would act as catalysts.

Joy Global currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating.

Magna to Open Solar Plant

Magna International Inc. ( MGA ) revealed that its body and chassis systems operating unit, Cosma International, would open a solar component manufacturing facility in Phoenix, Arizona that will strengthen its position in the renewable energy market.

The 166,000-square-foot facility, called Cosma Power Systems, will manufacture metal structures and roll-formed components and systems for the photovoltaic (PV), concentrated photovoltaic ( CPV ), and concentrated solar power ( CSP ) for the solar market. It is expected to begin production this month, employing 50-60 full-time workers.

Cosma International manufactures a comprehensive range of metal body systems, components, assemblies and modules for major automakers including General Motors ( GM ), Honda Motor ( HMC ), Hyundai/Kia, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz Smart, Mitsubishi, Porsche, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Renault-Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota Motor ( TM ) and Audi.

However, Cosma has recently started expanding in the non-automotive markets, especially in the green energy business. The company is already serving as a manufacturing partner for Skyline Solar, a California-based manufacturer of photovoltaic systems. Cosma produces the metal components for Skyline's concentrating-solar-power system.

Apart from solar systems, Cosma has also been expanding globally in its main business. Recently, it closed a transaction with Germany-based ThyssenKrupp Automotive Systems GmbH to acquire the latter's Brazilian unit, ThyssenKrupp Automotive Systems Industrial do Brasil Ltd.

With this acquisition, Magna will become the leading supplier of metal-forming and chassis systems to OEMs in South America. It will also add to the company's existing nine manufacturing facilities, two R&D facilities and approximately 3,650 employees in the region.

Last month, Magna also announced that it has agreed to acquire four die casting operations of BDW Technologies in Europe. Two of these operations are located in Germany, one in Hungary and the other one in Poland.

The acquisition will be closed by Cosma in the first quarter of 2012. It is expected to strengthen Cosma's product portfolio and will enable the company to deliver lightweight solutions for complex structural and chassis components in steel, aluminum or aluminum-steel hybrid to customers across the world.

Magna, a Zacks #5 Rank (Strong Sell) stock, is a leading manufacturer and supplier of automotive components based in Aurora, Canada. The company designs, develops and manufactures automotive systems, assemblies, modules and components, besides engineering and assembling complete vehicles, primarily for sale to OEMs of cars and light trucks.

The company earned $226 million or 94 cents per share in the third quarter of the year compared with $256 million or $1.10 per share in the same quarter a year-ago. Revenues increased 21% to $6.97 billion driven by higher sales across all its operations. Gross profit improved 2% to $769 million, despite a 24% rise in cost of goods sold to $6.20 billion.

Magna expects total sales to range between $28.1 billion and $28.9 billion for full year 2011. Based on operating regions, the company anticipates sales to range between $13.6 billion and $13.9 billion in North America, $8.5 billion and $8.7 billion in Europe and $23.4 billion and $24.0 billion in Rest of the World for the year.

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GENERAL MOTORS ( GM ): Free Stock Analysis Report

HONDA MOTOR ( HMC ): Free Stock Analysis Report

JOY GLOBAL INC ( JOY ): Free Stock Analysis Report

MAGNA INTL CL A (MGA): Free Stock Analysis Report

TOYOTA MOTOR CP (TM): Free Stock Analysis Report

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

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

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