Markets & Finance

Analyst Actions: Auto and Truck Suppliers, Hain Celestial


From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchBAIRD DOWNGRADES U.S. AUTO & TRUCK SUPPLIERS

Baird analyst David Leiker says he is downgrading Superior Industries International (SUP), Modine Manufacturing (MOD), Stoneridge (SRI), and Strattec Security (STRT) to underweight from neutral. He also lowers American Axle & Manufacturing (AXL), Accuride (ACW), Autoliv (ALV), Commercial Vehicle Group (CVGI), Lear (LEA), Magna International (MGA), Methode Electronics (MEI) and Tenneco (TEN) to neutral from outperform.

Leiker lowers the group recommendation to market weight. He notes his recommendation was previously based on a first half U.S. recession, continued economic growth in Europe and emerging markets; he thinks these assumptions are no longer reasonable. He notes the group's valuation is near the median and downside risks seem to outweigh potential upside.

He also notes the uncertain duration of U.S. downturn; U.S. light-vehicle sales are likely to remains depressed for several years; and the pace and duration of slowing demand in Europe and emerging markets.

BB&T CAPITAL KEEPS BUY ON HAIN CELESTIAL GROUP

BB&T Capital analyst Andrew Wolf says Hain Celestial Group's (HAIN) $0.34 fourth quarter 2008 core EPS came in $0.03 above his estimate and $0.02 above consensus. He notes fourth quarter sales also topped expectations.

Wolf says price increases ranging from 3%-5% at HAIN's grocery, frozen, Celestial and personal care units have helped offset increasing input costs and bolstered sales growth. He expects that a recently announced 6%-8% price increase across most brands will be accepted by the trade and should offset much of the recent input-cost inflation, particularly in the second half of fiscal year 2009.

He notes HAIN sees $1.54-$1.61 fiscal year 2009 (June) EPS on $1.2-$1.3 billion in sales. He sees $1.60 fiscal year 2009 EPS on $1.23 billion in sales; for fiscal year 2010, he sees $1.85 EPS on $1.35 billion sales.


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