The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights Tesla, Ford, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz Group and Magna International

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 26, 2022 – 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: Tesla TSLA, Ford F, ToyotaTM, Mercedes-Benz Group AG DDAIF and Magna International MGA.

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

EV Roundup: Q1 Earnings Edition

Last week’s major highlight was the blockbuster quarterly release from Tesla. Despite a severe microchip crisis, the electric vehicle (EV) king posted robust Q1 results, beating estimates for both earnings and revenues. It reported record quarterly revenues and a big jump in profit margins. TSLA’s eccentric genius CEO Musk remains confident of 50% growth in annual deliveries in the foreseeable future despite the industry odds.

Amid the soaring popularity of green cars, Japan’s auto giant Toyota revved up its electrification targets. The company is betting $ 383 million to drive hybrid EV strength at four US sites. The investment is aimed at advancing the company’s dedication to vehicle electrification and delivering fuel-efficient solutions to customers.

Meanwhile, US legacy automaker Ford unveiled Lincoln Star, its first concept EV, as part of efforts to enhance EV offerings in the United States and give a facelift to the Lincoln brand. Germany-based car biggie Mercedes-Benz Group AG is also on the path of roaring success in the EV space. Last week, it unveiled its latest EV model, EQS SUV, which is expected to arrive in the US market by 2022-end. Finally, Magna International also made it to the headlines as it celebrated the inauguration of its new plant in Mexico to spur EV capabilities.

Top Stories of the Week Gone By

1. Tesla reported first-quarter 2022 earnings of $ 3.22 a share, growing significantly from the year-ago figure of 93 cents and surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $ 2.15. Higher-than-expected deliveries and automotive gross profit resulted in this outperformance. Total first-quarter 2022 deliveries of 310,048 units topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 298,495. Automotive gross profit came in at $ 5,539 million, which outpaced the consensus mark of $ 4,113 million.

Total revenue came in at $ 18,756 million, beating the consensus mark of $ 17,276 million. The top line also witnessed year-over-year growth of 80.5%. Importantly, the EV giant reported an automotive gross margin of 32.9% and overall gross margin of 29.1% for the quarter. Further, operating margin came in at 19.2%. (Tesla Delivers 5th Consecutive Earnings Beat in Q1)

Tesla currently carries a Zacks Rank # 3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks # 1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

2. Toyota announced an investment of $ 383 million in four of its US manufacturing plants engaged in manufacturing core components of the new Toyota and Lexus vehicles. The investment will be used to produce four-cylinder engines – including options for hybrid EVs – at its Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee plants.

The Alabama facility, with an earmarked investment of $ 222 million, will create a new four-cylinder production line that can manufacture engines for both combustion and hybrid electric powertrains. Toyota Kentucky intends to expand the flexibility of the four-cylinder engine line unveiled last fall, enabling the plant to meet customer demand. The company has allocated $ 16 million in investment. Toyota Missouri’s $ 109 million investment aims to provide new equipment to build four-cylinder engine heads on three production lines. The Toyota Tennessee plant will revamp equipment to build new four-cylinder engine blocks with an investment of $ 36 million. (Toyota’s $ 383M Bet to Drive Hybrid EV Strength at 4 US Sites)

3. Ford introduced Lincoln Star, its first-of-kind concept EV. The Star Concept is the first step by Ford toward realizing its plan of delivering three fully EV models by 2025 and a fourth by 2026. The Lincoln Star is a crossover SUV with elite features like a smooth exterior design and panoramic windows. The interior structure makes it stand apart from Lincoln’s current lineup of vehicles in the United States, which includes the large Navigator SUV and several crossovers. Like other competitive luxury vehicles, the Star comes with a large screen across the instrument panel and a retractable steering wheel that can be kept aside. The seating arrangement offers a lounge-like setting.

Ford is putting in dedicated efforts to steer toward the adoption of EVs in the United States. In this light, its F-150 Lightning model is making great strides, but Lincoln is yet to walk the extra mile to fully transition to electric. Ford is optimistic that its EV count will steadily rise and triple from the 2017 figure of only five premium EVs. Presently, the count has reached 48 and EVs account for 20% of sales of luxury vehicles versus a mere 2% of mainstream sales. The auto giant is pitching its hopes for the Star Concept to regain lost grounds in the country. (Ford’s Premium Concept EV Lincoln Star to Bolster EV Game)

4. Mercedes-Benz unveiled its latest electric SUV, the Mercedes-Benz EQS. The EQS electric SUV will roll out in the US market by year-end. The company has shared many interior images that customers can expect in the new SUV. The EQS electric SUV is based on Mercedes-Benz’s dedicated EV architecture platform that also forms the basis of the EQS and EQE sedans. The Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV has familiar features as the Mercedes-EQ and the EQS luxury sedan and is equipped with modern features. The EQS electric SUV boasts LED taillights, and in the interior, it has Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX Hyper-screen with three large displays.

In its forthcoming plans for bolstering EV capacity, Mercedes-Benz said that the next S Class of Mercedes vehicles and beyond would be all electric. Another version of the EQS SUV, the Maybach, is also expected to hit the market shortly. This version has its own design language compared to the Mercedes-Benz EQS, as the hardware and user interface have their own branding. The ride handling will also be different from the Mercedes version. (Mercedes’ EQS SUV to Come to US Market by 2022 End)

5. Machine inaugurated a new facility in Ramos, Mexico. The plant was established by a joint venture with LG Electronics named LG Magna ePowertrain. The sprawling 260,000-square-foot plant – scheduled for completion in 2023 – will produce a range of powertrain components to support EV production from General Motors, which would be the foundational customer for the new facility.

The JV is expected to generate 400 new jobs. It spans Korea, North and South America, Europe and Asia. It will combine LG Electronics’ experience in EV technology and Magna’s long-standing reputation in traditional automotive manufacturing. This new facility is a testimony to LG Magna e-Powertrain’s ongoing success. It continuously enables the companies to better support customers with premium components for the next generation of EVs.

What’s Next in the Space?

Stay tuned for announcements of upcoming EV models and any important updates from the red-hot industry.

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