Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Why Shares of BorgWarner Surged in August

By Lee Samaha – Updated Sep 7, 2020 at 3:50PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The automotive technology company is preparing itself for a recovery in its end markets.

What happened

Shares of automotive technology company BorgWarner (BWA 0.20%) rose 10.9% in August, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The rise comes as a consequence of a combination of a slightly better outlook for automotive production in 2020 and a demonstration of the company's ability to outgrow its end markets.

The change in expectations for BorgWarner's end markets and sales can be seen in the updated management guidance given in the second-quarter earnings call on Aug. 5. By way of reference, by "end markets," BorgWarner means the change in light-vehicle production weighted for its geographic exposure, so it's not a direct marker of global light-vehicle production. On the other hand, it provides investors with a useful way to benchmark the company's ability to grow more than its end markets.

Full-Year 2020 Guidance


Guidance in May

YOY end market growth (decline)

(25% to 22%)

(31% to 25%)

YOY BorgWarner organic sales growth (decline)

(20% to 16%)

(27% to 20%)

Free cash flow

$300 million to $400 million

$100 million to $300 million

Data source: BorgWarner. YOY = year over year.

The company's ongoing ability to beat its end markets was apparent in the second quarter with BorgWarner reporting a 43% decline in its organic sales compared with a 50% decline in its end markets.

Make no mistake, it's still set to be a horrific year for automotive suppliers, but as you can see in the chart below, sales and production appear to have bottomed out in the second quarter and look set to bounce back strongly in 2021. As a consequence, Wall Street analysts have BorgWarner's sales growing nearly 18% in 2021.

US Total Light Vehicle Sales Chart

Data by YCharts.

So what

An improving end-market backdrop and ongoing outperformance are obviously good news and will be well received by investors as BorgWarner prepares to complete its acquisition of fellow automotive supplier Delphi Technologies (DLPH).

Automotive production.

BorgWarner needs automotive production to come back. Image source: Getty Images

It's a deal that management believes will result in a company well placed to benefit from the growth in electric and hybrid vehicle demand in the coming years. For example, management believes the acquisition will result in a company with 8% exposure to electric vehicles and 29% to hybrids, compared with a marketplace made up of 8% electric vehicles and 25% hybrid.

Now what

Automotive investors will be focused on the light-vehicle sales and production outlook and hoping that the bounce will extend into 2021. There's a case for arguing that the pandemic may well boost willingness to own a car rather than use public transport. On the other hand, automotive purchases are largely seen as consumer discretionary items, which suffer if the economy and employment turn sour.

In addition, BorgWarner investors will be hoping the Delphi acquisition goes ahead without any hitches and the company continues to outperform its end markets.

Lee Samaha has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends BorgWarner. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

BorgWarner Stock Quote
$34.24 (0.20%) $0.07
Delphi Automotive Stock Quote
Delphi Automotive

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 10/06/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.