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Why German Auto Stocks Are On the Move Today

By John Rosevear - Mar 13, 2020 at 9:52AM

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Good earnings from BMW helped the sector bounce back.

What happened

German automakers' stocks are on the move on Friday morning, rebounding as investors continue to come to grips with the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on manufacturers.

As of 10 a.m. EDT, shares of BMW AG (BAMXF -0.04%) (BMWYY 0.60%) and Volkswagen AG (VWAGY 2.75%) were up around 5%, while shares of Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG (DMLR.Y 0.39%) were up about 8%. 

So what

All three stocks have had a rough week, falling over 20% through Thursday, as concerns around the coronavirus outbreak -- which has hit neighboring Italy hard -- led to fears that the German automakers might have to idle their factories for an extended period.

BMWYY Price Chart

BMWYY Price data by YCharts.

The situation was exacerbated on Wednesday, after German chancellor Angela Merkel said that public-health experts expect 60% to 70% of the German population to be infected with COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. 

But Friday brought a relief rally on the Frankfurt stock exchange, helped in part by a good fourth-quarter earnings report from BMW. In a preliminary earnings release, BMW said that its Q4 operating profit jumped 32% thanks to strong demand for its most profitable high-end luxury vehicles. 

A blue BMW 8 Series, a luxury coupe.

Demand for high-profit models like the 8 Series helped BMW to a good fourth quarter. Image source: BMW AG.

The gains in Frankfurt were mirrored by the companies' American depositary receipts in early trading in New York. 

Now what

All three automakers are scheduled to release complete 2019 results and give updated guidance for 2020 in the next couple of weeks. Volkswagen will report on March 17, BMW on March 18, and Daimler on April 1.

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Stocks Mentioned

Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft Stock Quote
Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft
$78.77 (-0.04%) $0.03
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft Stock Quote
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft
$19.22 (2.75%) $0.52
Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft Stock Quote
Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft
$26.70 (0.60%) $0.16
Daimler AG Stock Quote
Daimler AG
$15.53 (0.39%) $0.06

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