The North American commercial truck market is still in pretty rough shape. While August vehicle orders showed sequential growth for both Class 8 trucks (up 37%) and Class 5-7 trucks (up 10%), both were down on a year-over-year basis (down 29% and down 5%, respectively). For Class 8 trucks, that's a year and a half of consecutive Y-O-Y declines in the monthly numbers, while Class 5-7 trucks have seen negative annual comps in three of the last four months.
That's a tough backdrop for Allison Transmission (NYSE:ALSN), the leading manufacturer of automatic transmissions for heavy-duty vehicles, but Wall Street has minded too much. While the shares are down a bit over the past year, they are up almost 20% from my last article, just a little below Cummins (NYSE:CMI) and Twin Disc (NASDAQ:TWIN), though the latter has been much more volatile. Investors seem to be encouraged by Allison's ability to retain strong share and good margins through this downturn, as well as the prospects for increased share on product roll-outs by customers like Navistar (NYSE:NAV) and PACCAR (NASDAQ:PCAR).
I still like Allison. It's not tremendously undervalued relative to the operating and macro risks, but it is priced for double-digit returns. More to the point, management seems to be following a sensible plan and one that I think can add share in important under-penetrated markets like metro Class 8 and international over time.
Read more here:
Allison Transmission Grinding Through A Rough Patch