Investors are concerned that electric cars are poised to dominate the transportation future, so they have rewarded Tesla with a massive market capitalisation and punished the stock of traditional automakers, such as Ford and General Motors.
Even though old-line car companies, along with suppliers and dealers, have enjoyed record annual sales of 17.5 million and 17.55 million new vehicles in 2015 and 2016, optimism about the industry is in short supply.
Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas thinks there might be a name that investors don’t properly appreciate, however: Goodyear Tire & Rubber. His price target for shares of the nearly 120-year-old company is $US46, and he rates the stock “overweight,” with a bull case for $US80 (the stock is flat year-to-date and was trading at $US31 on Monday).
In a research note on all things tires, Jonas stressed that Goodyear could finish out 2017 strong.
“The stock is one of the cheapest stocks in the S&P 500, the US Autos & Shared Mobility coverage universe, and global tire stocks,” he wrote.
“GT is relatively less exposed to the light vehicle credit cycle, used car prices, and [internal combustion engine] power train decline, the three key factors that drive our cautious view on many names in the sector.” he added.
The bottom line is that cars aren’t going away, and both electric and autonomous vehicles will require something round to roll around on. In fact, Morgan Stanley expects the total number of miles travelled to “double to 20 trillion” by 2030, and “triple to 30 trillion” by 2040. That’s going to mean a whole lot of worn-out tired over the next 20 years.