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Goldman Sachs published a report entitled "U.S. Thematic Views" on January 9, 2012. The report isn't publicly available but we will summarize its main points. In the report, David J. Kostin, Stuart Kaiser, Amanda Sneider, Peter Lewis and Ben Snider mention 23 cyclically attractive risk-reward U.S. stocks that are likely to see an upside "if inventory levels, business fixed investment, housing investment, and consumer durable goods spending improve." With an improvement in data momentum and financial conditions, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) upgraded its first-quarter GDP growth estimate to 2% from 0.5%. Housing prices are expected to fall, while auto sales may rise by as much as 6%. In this article we will discuss those stocks that are exposed to auto sales. All the stocks mentioned have been given a buy rating by Goldman Sachs.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) develops, manufactures, distributes, and services vehicles and parts on a global scale. It is a part of the Consumer Discretionary sector and has a market capitalization of $44 billion. Shares of Ford Motor are currently trading at $12. Over the last 52-week period, they have traded between $9.05 and $18.88 per share. The company has a price-to-book ratio of 7.7x, and an enterprise value to EBITDA ratio of 9x. Ford Motor generated a return on equity of 317% and has profit margins of 5%. Its operating margin of 6.3% was greater than the industry average at 5.5%.

Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI) engages in the building efficiency, automotive experience, and power solutions businesses. It is a part of the Consumer Discretionary sector and has a market capitalization of $23 billion. Shares of Johnson Controls are currently trading at $35 and have traded between $24.29 and $42.92 over the last 52 weeks. It generated a return on equity of 16% and has an enterprise to EBITDA ratio of 10.6x. Johnson Controls also reported a quarterly growth of 19% versus the industry average at 8%. Jim Simons' Renaissance Technologies initiated a brand new position in JCI during the third quarter.

Lear Corporation (NYSE:LEA) designs, manufactures, assembles, and supplies automotive seat systems, electrical distribution systems, and related components. It has a market capitalization of $4 billion and is a part of the Consumer Discretionary sector. Shares of Lear Corporation are currently trading at $41.3 and have traded between $35.60 and $57.03 over the last 52-week period. The company generated a return on equity of 22% and a profit margin of 4%. Lear's quarterly revenue growth was 22.7% versus the industry average at 7.9%. It has a beta of 1.36, indicating the stock's volatile nature. John Paulson had nearly $200 million in Lear at the end of September.

Tenneco, Inc. (NYSE:TEN) designs, manufactures, and sells emission control and ride control products and systems. It is a part of the Consumer Discretionary sector and has a market capitalization of $2 per share. Shares of the company are currently trading around $30. Over the last 52-week period, its shares have traded between $22.47 and $46.81. Tenneco generated a return on equity of 150% and a profit margin of 1.5%. The company's price-to-book ratio was 22x. Tenneco reported a quarterly revenue growth of 15% versus the industry average at 8%.

BorgWarner (NYSE:BWA) engages in the manufacture and sales of engineered automotive systems and components for powertrain applications on a global scale. It has a market capitalization of $7 billion and is a part of the Consumer Discretionary sector. According to Goldman Sachs, the company's high backlog is likely to support a volume growth of 10% above its peers. Shares of the company are currently trading at $73.7 and have traded between $54.59 and $77.70 over the last 52 weeks. BorgWarner generated a return on equity of 23% and a profit margin of 7.8%. It had an enterprise value to EBITDA ratio of 9x. Its quarterly revenue growth of 27% was higher than the industry average at 8%. It also had a higher price-to-equity ratio of 17x versus the industry average of 8.6x.

Dana Holding Corporation (NYSE:DAN) designs, manufactures, and supplies products for vehicle manufacturers all over the world. It is a part of the Consumer Discretionary sector and has a market capitalization of $2 billion. Shares of Dana Holding are currently trading at $14.7 and have been trading between $9.45 and $19.35 over the last 52 weeks. The company generated a return on equity of around 8% and a profit margin of around 2%. It reported a price-to-equity ratio of 23x versus the industry average of 8.6x. Also, it reported a quarterly revenue growth of around 29%, which was substantially higher than the industry average at 8%. Jeffrey Altman's Owl Creek had $81 million in Dana Holding at the end of the third quarter.

Source: 6 Stocks That Will Benefit The Most From Increased Auto Sales