Unless you've been locked in your room watching Family Guy reruns for the past several years, you probably know that India is in the midst of explosive growth.
In 2006, the Indian economy grew at 9.4%, dwarfing the United States' 2.9%. This year alone, the Bombay Stock Exchange, measured by the Sensex, has returned more than 40% -- driven largely by the success of banks such as ICICI (NYSE: IBN ) and HDFC (NYSE: HDB ) .
With performance like this, it must be impossible to find a bargain. Right?
Despite the country's phenomenal growth, automotive companies have been stalling. Tata Motors' (NYSE: TTM ) stock alone has fallen more than 14% year to date. But if you think the nosediving share price stems from poor business fundamentals, think again.
Don't let its industry fool you -- unlike notoriously poor-performing U.S. counterparts Ford (NYSE: F ) and General Motors (NYSE: GM ) , this company is far from frail. And it offers greater growth potential than even Japanese automakers Honda (NYSE: HMC ) and Toyota (NYSE: TM ) .
Tata is India's largest automaker, claiming the dominant market share of commercial vehicles. Its five-year compound annual revenue growth of 32.6% shows few if any signs of stopping.
In a country of 1.1 billion citizens, only a tiny fraction of citizens own cars. But as the populace grows more affluent, car ownership will become more common. In fact, 21% of Indian households are already planning to purchase a vehicle within the next three years, according to a recent CLSA study.
That figure is impressive on its own, but it might prove conservative. The impending unveiling of Tata's extremely affordable Rs 1 lakh -- also known as the $2,500 car -- could unlock an entire new demographic of potential customers.
The bear necessities
Many investors have failed to see Tata's remarkable value because of macroeconomic variables, which could continue to hinder business in the short term.
Interest rates on vehicle loans have lately run high in India, prompting a slight slowdown in car purchasing. Business has slowed, but it hasn't come to a screeching halt. In the most recently reported quarter, revenue still grew by 6.2% year over year.
In truth, this current slowdown is a double-edged sword, offering investors a chance to latch on to a long-term growth opportunity at an attractive price.
Now trading at...
Tata currently has a price-to-earnings ratio of almost 12, a dividend yield of 2.2%, and it's trading near its 52-week low. I peg the shares as undervalued, but don't just take my word for it. The Motley Fool CAPS community has ranked Tata as a five-star stock, with more than 1,200 bullish votes!
Fools, this is one bandwagon -- or station wagon -- you want to ride on. Head over to CAPS now and vote that you too believe this stock will outperform the market!
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