Shares of Paccar Inc. fell Friday, after BofA Securities analyst Ross Gilardi did an about-face on the truck maker, recommending investors sell on the belief truck stocks could lag in a post-COVID-19 vaccine world.
Gilardi said that while Paccar is an “excellent” company with a strong balance sheet, the stock is “a bit too defensive to work” relative to the rest of the machinery sector in an accelerating demand environment.
Gilardi cut his rating two notches to underperform from buy, while cutting his stock price target to $88 from $105.
Paccar’s stock PCAR, -1.56% fell 1.7% in midday trading. It has lost 4.4% in the month since it closed at a record $92.64 on Oct. 23.
“We don’t think widespread vaccine dissemination is a big enough tailwind to freight markets to move the needle,” Gilardi wrote in a note to clients.
He said his research suggests it may take 6,000 to 10,000 truckloads to distribute 300 million doses of a COVID0-19 vaccine, but that is on a base of “literally hundreds of millions” of truckloads in a given year.
And once a vaccine becomes available, Gilardi believes consumers will “go back to living their lives” and demand for deliveries and durable goods are likely to normalize.
“We also see risks that demand for freight eventually eases as consumers revert back to spending more of their disposable income on experiences over goods to their doorstep,” Gilardi wrote.
He also downgraded truck transmissions maker Allison Transmission Holdings Inc. ALSN, -2.22% to neutral from buy, while trimming his stock price target to $42 from $45.
“We hesitate to get too negative on Allison as we expect some new customer announcements for its new e-axle systems in the next 3-6 months,” Gilardi wrote.
He kept his neutral rating on truck engine parts maker Cummins Inc. but lowered his price target to $234 from $250.