Tuesday Ticker — February 4, 2020

Magna’s Magnanimity

Magna International has extended its plant closures at its Chinese facilities to help contain the coronavirus outbreak, which has now killed 350 people.

Nearly 20,000 workers manufacture auto parts in the Canadian company’s 68 Chinese plants.

Investors have been cagey about stocks reliant on businesses with significant Chinese workforces since international attention became focussed on the outbreak in late January.

Magna International has seen its stock value drop from $71.7 on January 20, to $67.08 on January 31.

The company is also donating about $650,000 to help combat the outbreak.

Stock Drop

Last week, Axalta released both its fourth quarter and full-year reports.

Unfortunately for investors, the company’s annual earnings were about 16 percent lower than expected.

The company’s Q4 revenue was about $1.1 billion US, with its yearly revenue at about $4.4 billion.

Its revenue was $4.7 billion US in 2018.

With the auto paint behemoth trading just under $30 U.S., per-stock, the company earnings in 2019 were just $1.06 US.

In response, the stock saw 1.75 percent of its value stripped away on the first day of post-release trading—or 7.2 percent lower than at the end of 2019.

Monthly sales reports stopped short

In the span of a few hours, Audi, BMW, Porsche and Volkswagen announced they would no longer provide monthly reports on sales from individual models in Canada. Instead, they will all switch to providing quarterly reports.

Nissan also announced it would be putting an end to the practice in the U.S., but not in Canada.

Toyota has sent mixed messages about monthly reports.

While it looks like the two Japanese businesses will be sharing month-to-month data in Canada for the time being, it is unlikely the trend will continue for too long. By providing additional reports to the public, they risk giving away more information to their competitors than they received.

Some analysts have suggested that monthly reports make it harder for dealers to identify new trends. Others suggest that they help drive month-end targets, which are easier to pursue than quarterly ones.

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