Daimler (DAI), the world’s third-largest luxury auto maker, represents all that an upscale brand should be. With its Mercedes-Benz and Maybach brands, Daimler offers customers cachet and quality of the highest standard. To its shareholders, the car company offers hefty profit and is even learning to cut costs. Mercedes has established itself as the top choice for luxury auto buyers across the globe.
Sales volume for the brand exploded in emerging markets last year — up between 40 and 140 percent in the vaunted BRIC countries, Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
Mercedes-Benz USA recently reported record results for June and the first half of the year. Sales in June totaled 22,563 vehicles, surging 18.8 percent from a year earlier. For the first six months of the year, sales hit 118,021 vehicles, jumping 10.4 percent from 2010.
In addition, Daimler and Rolls-Royce Group (RYCEY) recently snapped up 94 percent of German engine maker Tognum (TGNMF), valuing the company at about $4.9 billion. In size, Tognum trails only Caterpillar (CAT) among the world’s makers of high-speed diesel engines for the marine, energy, and defense industries.
All systems go
“We see great potential in this global market worth more than 30 billion euros ($43 billion) a year,” Daimler Chief Financial Officer Bodo Uebber said in a statement. “We are very pleased with the final acceptance rate.”
Daimler’s first-quarter earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) soared 71 percent from a year ago to $2.88 billion, topping analysts’ consensus forecast. The gain stemmed from strong car demand in emerging markets and a booming truck business.
Morgan Stanley analysts recently raised their price target for Daimler shares traded in Europe by almost 10 percent to 68 euros from 62 euros previously. They expect a strong earnings report for the second quarter, including buoyant revenue growth and significant cost cuts.
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