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The Automotive industry as a whole closed the day down 0.7% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.1%. Laggards within the Automotive industry included Spartan Motors ( SPAR), down 1.8%, China Automotive Systems ( CAAS), down 3.5%, Fuel Systems Solutions ( FSYS), down 4.2%, Modine Manufacturing ( MOD), down 3.2% and Motorcar Parts of America ( MPAA), down 5.0%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks that pushed the industry lower today:

Fuel Systems Solutions ( FSYS) is one of the companies that pushed the Automotive industry lower today. Fuel Systems Solutions was down $0.43 (4.2%) to $9.83 on light volume. Throughout the day, 119,122 shares of Fuel Systems Solutions exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 196,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $9.75-$10.21 after having opened the day at $10.21 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $10.26.

Fuel Systems Solutions, Inc. designs, manufactures, and supplies alternative fuel components and systems for use in the transportation, industrial, and power generation industries worldwide. The company operates through two segments, FSS Automotive and FSS Industrial. Fuel Systems Solutions has a market cap of $213.8 million and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are down 26.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Fuel Systems Solutions a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Fuel Systems Solutions as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on FSYS go as follows:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Auto Components industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 176.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$0.73 million to -$2.01 million.
  • The gross profit margin for FUEL SYSTEMS SOLUTIONS INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 25.54%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -2.46% trails that of the industry average.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 38.10%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 150.00% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • FUEL SYSTEMS SOLUTIONS INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FUEL SYSTEMS SOLUTIONS INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.02 versus -$0.78 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 350.0% in earnings (-$0.09 versus -$0.02).
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Auto Components industry and the overall market, FUEL SYSTEMS SOLUTIONS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Fuel Systems Solutions Ratings Report

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At the close, China Automotive Systems ( CAAS) was down $0.33 (3.5%) to $8.85 on average volume. Throughout the day, 114,822 shares of China Automotive Systems exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 142,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $8.71-$9.25 after having opened the day at $9.20 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $9.18.

China Automotive Systems, Inc., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells automotive systems and components in the People's Republic of China. China Automotive Systems has a market cap of $256.0 million and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are up 15.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate China Automotive Systems a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates China Automotive Systems as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on CAAS go as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 27.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.51, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.40, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 38.88% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 50.64% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, CAAS should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Auto Components industry average. The net income increased by 42.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $5.09 million to $7.25 million.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: China Automotive Systems Ratings Report

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Spartan Motors ( SPAR) was another company that pushed the Automotive industry lower today. Spartan Motors was down $0.09 (1.8%) to $4.99 on light volume. Throughout the day, 21,653 shares of Spartan Motors exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 96,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $4.93-$5.10 after having opened the day at $5.10 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $5.08.

Spartan Motors, Inc, through its subsidiaries, engineers, manufactures, and sells heavy-duty and custom vehicles in the United States, Canada, South America, and Asia. Spartan Motors has a market cap of $177.2 million and is part of the consumer goods sector. Shares are down 24.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Spartan Motors a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Spartan Motors as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins.

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Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on SPAR go as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 33.1%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • SPAR's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.03 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.20, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • SPARTAN MOTORS INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SPARTAN MOTORS INC reported poor results of -$0.18 versus -$0.07 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.05 versus -$0.18).
  • The gross profit margin for SPARTAN MOTORS INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 11.73%. Regardless of SPAR's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -1.67% trails the industry average.
  • SPAR has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 10.51% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Spartan Motors Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.