For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL - December 28, 2015 - Zacks.com 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 Honda Motor Co., Ltd . ( HMC ), Winnebago Industries, Inc. ( WGO ), Tesla Motors, Inc . ( TSLA ) and Toyota Motor Corporation ( TM ).
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Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:
Auto Stock Roundup: Honda Expands Takata Airbag Recall, Tesla Gets $39M Incentive
it was a mixed week in terms of developments in the auto sector, although the stocks traded mostly in the red. Honda Motor Co., Ltd . ( HMC ) expanded the recall of vehicles with defective Takata airbags, while U.S. regulatory authorities revealed yet another casualty related to the airbags. Meanwhile, Winnebago Industries, Inc. ( WGO ) reported weak first-quarter fiscal 2016 earnings and revenues.
Among the positive developments, Tesla Motors, Inc . ( TSLA ) was reported to have received $39 million sales tax incentives from California. Reports of a possible collaboration between Ford Motor Co. (F - Analyst Report) and Google for the development of autonomous vehicles also emerged. Meanwhile, Toyota Motor Corporation ( TM ) decided to invest ¥1 billion (around $8.16 million) in artificial intelligence research and development.
Recap of the Week's Most Important Stories
1. Honda announced that it is expanding the recall of vehicles with defective Takata passenger front airbag inflators after Takata determined a new defect. The expansion will add to the recall of around 127,000 inflators in the 2003-2004 CR-V vehicles that were not part of the previous recall or safety improvement campaign. Additionally, nearly 78,000 CR-V vehicles of model year 2003-2004 that were part of the previous passenger front airbag inflator recalls or Honda's voluntary safety improvement campaigns will also be part of the new recall. The expanded recall takes the number of passenger front airbag inflators replacement requirement to 3.4 million.
Soon after Honda announced the recall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that an accident near Pittsburgh in July was linked to defective Takata airbags. The accident, in a 2001 Honda Accord, resulted in the eighth casualty in the U.S. and ninth globally due to these airbags.
2. Ford is in talks with Google to create a joint venture to build driverless vehicles, as per media reports. The joint venture is expected to be announced at the Consumer Electronics Show next month. This partnership would be beneficial for both companies. While Google will gain expertise on mass production of automobiles, Ford will be able to leverage Google's real-world autonomous drive research.
3. Tesla is set to receive $39 million sales tax incentives from California, per media reports. These incentives are part of the state's program, which forgoes sales and uses taxes on certain equipment purchases by qualified companies for up to three years. The incentive to Tesla is reportedly being given for the expected purchases of equipment worth $463 million.
4. Winnebago recorded earnings of 32 cents per share in the first quarter of fiscal 2016 (ended Nov 28, 2015), down from 37 cents earned in the prior-year quarter. Also, the figure missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 37 cents. Revenues for the first quarter fell 4.5% to $214.2 million from $224.4 million in the prior-ago quarter. Moreover, the figure fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $226 million. The year-over-year decline in revenues was due to lower motorized unit shipments.
5. Toyota has decided to invest ¥1 billion (around $8.16 million) in Preferred Networks Inc. to advance research and development of artificial intelligence technologies in mobility-related fields. In return for its investment, Toyota will receive Preferred Networks' stock through the allocation of new shares to a third party as of Dec 30, 2015. Preferred Networks is a venture firm with outstanding technological capabilities in natural language processing and machine learning.
What's Next in the Auto Space?
On Dec 28, 2015, Harley-Davidson will pay a quarterly cash dividend of 31 cents per share to shareholders of record as of Dec 11.
On Dec 29, 2015, General Motors will pay a quarterly cash dividend of 36 cents per share to shareholders of record as of Dec 18.
On Dec 30, 2015, Lear Corp. will pay a quarterly cash dividend of 25 cents per share to shareholders of record as of Dec 11.
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