By Todd McDonald
Summary: The leading automakers are scheduled to report March sales results on Tuesday, April 2, 2013. Optimism is growing, with TrueCar.com, Edmunds.com, and Kelley Blue Book all calling for the best March in six years. Edumunds.com even anticipates this to be the best single month since May 2007. It is important to note that March is typically a strong month for automobile makers, due to the warmer weather, anticipation of tax returns, and the availability of new-year models. This could potentially be the fifth consecutive month of sales of over 15 mln light vehicles.
Ford Motor (NYSE:F)
Overview: Ford Motor is expected to post solid increases in monthly sales, albeit much lower than February's results. According to Kelley Blue Book, the new Ford Fiesta should see a significant uptick in sales. They note that sub-compact cars will have a strong month due to affordability, great gas mileage, and higher quality vehicles compared to recent years. The consensus of the three estimates is for an increase of 4.7%.
Ford shares have significantly lagged the broader market indices, rising just over 2% year-to-date. Shares have been trading close to its 50-day SMA and look poised to break out of the triangle that has been forming throughout the past few months. If monthly sales are better than expected, look for initial resistance near $13.50, followed by the 52-week highs of $14.20. If sales disappoint, support can be found at $12.80, followed by the $12 area. (Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com)
TrueCar.com: 4.3% (Source: Truecar.com)
Edmunds.com: 3.8% (Source: Edmunds.com)
Kelley Blue Book: 6.0% (Source: KBB.com)
General Motors (NYSE:GM)
Overview: General Motors is expected to post excellent gains, with Kelley Blue Book predicting a huge year-over-year increase for March of 24.1%. Edmunds, however, believes that General Motors will show the biggest month to month decline in market share due to a lack of incentives on the company's truck models. With such a wide range of estimates, it may be useful to have a consensus estimate in this case, which would equal 15.3%
TrueCar.com: 13.0% (Source: Truecar.com)
Edmunds.com: 8.80% (Source: Edmunds.com)
Kelley Blue Book: 24.1% (Source: KBB.com)
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