Lear (LEA - Get Report) aims to show investors that the scary days of 2008 and 2009 are receding in the rear-view mirror. Even with the challenges in Europe along, Lear is so bullish on its ability to hold its own now and thrive in coming years that it's loosening up the checkbook.
Instead of preserving its $1.1 billion in net cash for the next tough period, the company announced in January that it will hike capital spending around $300 million in 2012. That should help to sharply boost free cash flow in 2013 and beyond as those current investments bear fruit.Lear is also looking to shrink the share count, hiking an existing $300 million share buyback program up to $700 million. That appears to be a wise move considering shares trade for less than four times trailing EBITDA. Lear, one of John Paulson's holdings as of the most recently reported period, is one of the highest-yielding automotive stocks, with a current yield of 1.1%. Follow @stockpickr