Published October 02, 2012
Monthly auto sales are being released Tuesday and while there are winners and losers, the overall trend of higher sales remains in place. The thing for investors has been trying to pick the winners among these names.
It’s clear to me American automakers are struggling and losing share. Be that as it may, one way to play the macro trend in autos, entertainment and professional music is Harmon International (HAR).
Auto sales are 56% of the company’s business, but the pure audio part is only $3.1 billion of its current backlog, $13 billion is infotainment, which includes the navigation system and multimedia like the Internet.
Late last month S&P upped its credit rating on the stock to BBB-, which is investment grade, citing the following:
• Improved margins
• Lower business risk
• Expectations of continued leadership position
• Strong liquidity
I agree with all of the above, as cash flow is up 245% compounded from 1Q10. I’m also excited about global growth. BRIC sales were 1% in 2008, 12% this year and will be 25% by 2015 as China alone has a 94% compounded annual growth rate.
Domestically the company's sales are outpacing the overall market, suggesting market share gains.
The company is strong in Lifestyle and Professional, which includes recording, broadcast and equipment for music tours which is the only way artist make money these days.
There are big tech names like Apple (AAPL) looking to get in on the dashboard action and that’s held the stock back. But this is a stock changing hands at a 10 PE, PEG of 0.40, less than one times sales and two times book.
A close above $50 would be monumental and the stock would probably be off to the races.
Charles Payne, a FOX Business contributor, is president of Wall Street Strategies. At the time this article was published he, his firm and/or his family did not own securities in Harman.