Shares of Oshkosh (OSK -0.98%) gained 27.1% last month, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, as investors began to warm to one of the most underappreciated companies in the industrial sector.
Oshkosh started November with an earnings release that far exceeded analyst expectations, reporting 13% sales growth, 67% earnings growth, and new full-fiscal-year guidance that even at its low end is above consensus. The company's nongovernment units led the way, with access equipment operating income up 103% year over year and commercial equipment operating income up 52.6%.
The month got even better on Nov. 28, when Oshkosh's defense arm announced a $1.7 billion order from the U.S. Army for 6,107 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles. The JLTV has been an important part of Oshkosh's push to build its military sales. The company was first awarded a contract for JLTVs in August 2015, and to date has delivered more than 2,600.
Even after the strong showing in November, shares of Oshkosh are still down 26.8% on the year, compared to a 0.63% loss by the S&P 500, on investor disappointment that a major White House infrastructure reinvestment push has not materialized and on fears that increased steel and aluminum tariffs would cut into results.
On their early November earnings call, company management said higher raw material costs and "continued global trade uncertainty" were headwinds but insisted that they believe they are well positioned to outperform rivals facing those same macro challenges. The recent results, and the company's optimistic guidance, are evidence of their resolve.
Oshkosh today trades at just 10.5 times earnings, less than half of its multiple in late 2017 and near a level unseen since the 2009 recession. If company management can deliver on their expectations for earnings growth in the quarters to come, Oshkosh investors could enjoy many more months like November.