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5 Stock Strategies From Wall Street: Feb 7 (Update 1)


3) Bright Outlook for Machine Manufacturing at Home

Analysts at UBS say look for opportunities in machinery companies exposed to the North American market. " Agricultural equipment manufacturers, equipment rental companies and truck names as channel checks have remained supportive of solid demand," writes the firm.

UBS says its bullish on Navistar (NAV), a manufacturer of commercial and military trucks, which holds its investor day Wednesday:

"We have viewed NAV as well positioned to North American truck rebound, with underappreciated expansionary businesses elsewhere. We view natural gas engines as a potentially important secular growth opportunity for NAV. Additionally, as NAV submitted an emission compliant engine to EPA for certification, investor concerns over long term future of the engine business should begin to subside. Both developments could lead investors to reassess NAV and ultimately lead to a higher multiple."

Other manufacturing news worth paying attention to this week include AGCO's (AGCO) earnings on Tuesday and Agnico-Eagle Mines' (AEM) report on farm equipment sales on Friday.

Agriculture equipment manufacturer AGCO reported adjusted net income of $1.44 a share and net sales of $2.5 billion for the fourth quarter of 2011, up 16.1% compared to a year earlier. Analysts were looking for $2.54 billion in revenue and earnings of $1.33 per share..

"We finished 2011 on a strong note, setting sales and earnings records for both the fourth quarter and full year," said CEO Martin Richenhagen. "Attractive farm economics supported robust global demand for agricultural equipment and produced sales growth for AGCO of over 27% for 2011 compared to the full year of 2010."

Regarding the North American market, the company said that "improvement in the dairy and livestock sector contributed to higher industry unit retail sales of mid-range tractors and hay equipment, both of which increased compared to 2010 levels. The high level of profitability for row crop farmers also produced growth in industry sales of high horsepower tractors and sprayers."

One good sign for the equipment industry was strong fourth quarter results from Cummins (CMI). The company sells engine-related products to equipment manufactures. On Thursday, Cummins beat the consensus forecast of $2.23 in earnings per share by reporting $2.56 per share, while posting record sales. The company's 2012 guidance was below analysts' expectations, but shares nevertheless rose, suggesting the report helped ease fears about weakness in the fourth quarter.

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