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Moderately rated with support jacks upwards

A.Auto stocks like BMW and Daimler have long since overcome the depths of the corona crisis. The same applies to the supplier Continental, which also wants to cut thousands of jobs in Germany, not least in the Rhine-Main area. The brand with the star on the radiator grille is even higher than at the end of 2019, while market leader Volkswagen is still a long way off. But, as so often, the music does not play in the Dax in view of the share price development, rather secondary stocks set the tone: Jost-Werke stands out alongside SAF-Holland and the hose clamp manufacturer Norma Group.

The price of SAF-Holland, the S-Dax-listed supplier for the global trailer, semi-trailer, truck, tractor unit, bus and mobile home industry, has more than tripled since the low in March. It was not quite as strong with the truck supplier Jost-Werke AG from Neu-Isenburg, which also operates internationally. But the value of this S-Dax stock has risen by more than 100 percent since the spring. Above all, however, the price is barely below its all-time high.

116 percent price increase since March

The company went public in mid-2017. In the same year, the share hit its all-time high of a straight 46 euros. In the middle of the week, investors pay around EUR 43.40 per share, after having hit the low point in March of just under EUR 20. Anyone who bought courageously at the time can be happy. The price increase is 116 percent. The Jost-Werke also benefited from the general strong recovery of the market, especially since the S-Dax has developed better than the big Dax and is rushing from one record to the next. But that’s not all because of that. Because the Hessians raised their forecast before the turn of the year.

Unlike before, the board now expects sales to grow by a single-digit percentage compared to 2019. The operating margin should be more than 8.5 percent. It’s worse than before. Only: Before raising the forecast, Jost had expected a decline in sales and a margin of over seven percent. The company pointed to a worldwide steady increase in the demand for Jost systems for truck trailers and agricultural tractors. Fifth wheel couplings and landing gear are manufactured, which are reportedly installed in around four out of five such commercial vehicles, especially in trucks.

Recovery since late summer

After the price surge as a result of the new forecast, two analysis houses lowered their fingers a bit. JP Morgan and Stifel now advise keeping Jost-Werke in the portfolio; previously both had given a buy recommendation. JP Morgan no longer sees much price potential, but agrees that Hessen has good prospects in day-to-day business. Confident voices can also be heard from the ranks of unlisted medium-sized companies that are suppliers to truck manufacturers. Business has picked up since late summer, the order books are well filled, and the workforce sometimes works on weekends, says a manager of a company whose name is irrelevant.

According to the Jost website, JP Morgan has set the price target at 40 euros, which also applies to some other analysis houses, Stifel calls 45 euros. Some analysts are more confident. Hauck & Aufhäuser, for example, sees the title as well paid at 49 euros, MM Warburg at 52 euros.

With a price-earnings ratio of a good 11, the paper looks moderately valued, especially since the price-to-sales ratio is below 1. The dividend yield measured against the expectations of the analysts is 1.8 percent.

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