'Buy signal' in commercial truck sector suggests stock prices have bottomed
Baird analyst David Leiker is calling a bottom in the commercial truck sector, citing a historical "buy signal" that just flashed, and as a result upgraded a number of stocks he covers. Leiker said he had been cautious on the sector as valuation multiples have compressed because of concerns that earnings will peak this year and starting declining next year. But the recent significant decline in Class 8 truck orders suggests the group is currently at the point of a "re-rating," and therefore has turned positive on the group. He upgraded Cummins Inc. , Paccar Inc. and Wabco Holdings Inc. to outperform from neutral, and upgraded Volvo AB to neutral from underperform. "History has shown that the key to resetting this 'peak cycle' mindset is significant declines in Class 8 truck orders, with stock price bottoms occurring around the maximum year-over-year decline," Leiker wrote in a note to clients. "We view the collapse in truck orders during December/January, down 75-80% from peak, as the re-set event that now warrants a more aggressive stance on the group." The upgrades come after the Dow Jones Transportation Average has declined 4.0% over the past 12 months while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 0.5%. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.