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Hedge funds also hate auto parts supplier
Delphi Automotive(DLPH - Get Report) right now. As a group, the funds sold off 59.54 million shares of the firm in the second quarter, cutting their total holdings in the stock by more than $3 billion -- that's nearly a third of DLPH's total market capitalization. The progeny of
General Motors'(GM) parts business, Delphi is one of the biggest suppliers to the automotive industry, providing car makers with everything from electronic components to powertrain and safety parts (GM is still the firm's biggest customer).
Investors in the automotive industry have gone on a wild ride over the past few years, Delphi in particular going through a major ordeal from its 2005 bankruptcy through the financial crisis that led to the bankruptcy of its biggest customer and smashed car orders. But the firm reorganized in 2009 and managed to go public late last year, offering investors a completely different company than Delphi had been just a few years ago. Post-bankruptcy, Delphi cuts a more svelte profile, with a healthy balance sheet and a bottom line that's actually profitable again.
Major trends in the auto industry could signal big tailwinds for Delphi, especially as components continue to get more complex, and automakers need more outsourced parts from suppliers. Increasing worldwide safety regulation should add to Delphi's top line, especially as higher-margin components (such as back-up cameras) become standard or mandated features.
With car sales continuing to look strong in 2012, hedge funds may have jumped the gun selling Delphi -- especially while its earnings multiple remains in the single digits.
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