Dana Shares Jumped: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of auto-parts manufacturer Dana Holdings (NYSE: DAN  ) were zooming ahead today, gaining as much as 11% in intraday trading after the company offered up updated guidance for 2011 and an initial look at its 2012 forecast.

So what: On an absolute basis, Dana's 2011 looks quite good -- revenue of $7.6 billion is a 25% increase from last year, while adjusted earnings per share of $1.60 would be a doubling from 2010. However, that's all a yawn -- at best -- for shareholders. The revenue estimate just matches analysts' estimates while the EPS figure falls short by $0.05.

So why the excitement today? It seems the company's bottom line in 2012 will be better than anticipated by the market. Expected sales growth of 5% is a little softer than expected, but the company's adjusted EPS range of $1.95-$2.05 puts its view easily ahead of the $1.89 average estimate from 13 Wall Street analysts.

Now what: While it's hard to get too excited about 5% sales growth for 2012, the nice increase in profits would be a good sign as Dana continues to recover from its dip during the recession. Strong guidance from management is a big positive and investors have every reason to be stoked today, but as we look ahead the company will still have to execute in order to hit those targets, or risk seeing most or all of today's gains wiped out by disappointed investors down the road.

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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not have a financial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or Facebook. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.


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