The world's largest industrial ball-bearing producer issued results in line with estimates while delivering a sombre long term outlook for growth, with short term positive surprises. The ball-bearing industry is vital for any equipment that rotates and applications are found in a variety of industries such as aeroplane actuation and food production lines. Because of the wide variety of uses, the stock is a good gauge of manufacturing.
Demand for their goods was better than the company anticipated in the previous quarter and the firm also see upside revisions to demand going forward. Even though there is no surge in production, the company got the impression that customer de-stocking was more or less finished. They also see the Aerospace, Energy and Trucks industry as the main sources of growth going forward.
Trucks demand is, however, surprising considering the lack of improvement in international trade and this is something to watch a little more closely
Finally, split apart by geography, the company see order growth coming from Latin America with Europe continuing to sag
Metals & Mining
Announced that it was shutting an iron ore magnetite plant in Australia due to high operating costs and low profitability. Conversely, Rio Tinto's mining production report brought up nothing out the ordinary an instead increased their copper production target.
The China situation has no doubt made numbers and data points like those above much more important but the plant in question is surprisingly small considering the slated capacity was 1.2m tonnes annual (Hedland port export 27m tonnes last month).
European Car Sales have come out at the lowest point since 1996, with registrations dropping 6.3% to 1.18m from 1.25m YoY. This is not particularly new news since most auto manufacturers see the European market shrinking 5% this year.
This news however, is positive for companies involved with the upkeep of owned vehicles as motorists opt to keep their bangers running as opposed to buying new ones.
Michelin's (OTCPK:MGDDF) monthly sales data released today, shows that replacement tire sales have increased 3% with new tire business increasing as well. The data pushed the company to new highs of EUR74.50 and help to continue their success story. This is undoubtedly good news for GoodYear (GY) as core business continues to grow but remember that European business accounts for only 33% of sales.
Once again another unexciting raft of data from Europe with the continuation of already well established trends. Manufacturing seems to have leveled off while there is no near-term pick up for Autos.
The interesting point here is despite the sour auto data, SKF do indicate a pick up in activity in the trucking industry which bodes well for MAN group and Volvo (OTCPK:VOLVY)
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