Japanese Autos on a Roll (HMC, NSANY, TM)

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Includes: HMC, NSANY, TM
by: Steven Towns

JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM) initiated coverage yesterday on Honda Motor Co. Ltd., (NYSE:HMC) and Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) with an "overweight" rating. The Big-3 Japanese autos closed Friday in Tokyo at YTD, 52-week, and all-time highs. Honda gained 4.64% to close at 8,120 yen, Nissan +2.74% at 1,462 yen, and Toyota +2.68% at 6,900 yen. Over the first quarter of 2006 the yen/$ exchange rate has remained favorable to Japanese autos and based on their reported monthly levels of sales, there's no reason not to believe there will be near-records or new records in their quarterly and annual earnings. Nissan reports earnings next Tuesday, Honda on Wednesday, and Toyota on May 10th.

Interestingly enough I did come across a Toyota downgrade from this past Monday by Macquarie Securities. Per newratings.com:

Macquarie cut Toyota's rating to "neutral" from "outperform" on three-rank scale. Medium-term earnings growth outlook already factored into share price after issue rose 69% over past 12 months.

HMC, NSANY, TM 1-yr chart (as of early morning trading 04/21)