January 12, 2014 / 10:51 PM / in 4 years

Improvement in Europe could drive up Magna's stock -Barron's

Jan 12 (Reuters) - A possible recovery in the European car market could send Magna International’s share price higher in 2014, following a 64 percent jump last year, Barron’s said in its latest edition published on Sunday.

The Canadian vehicle-parts producer, based in Aurora, Ontario, has reaped gains from the resurgence in auto demand in the United States, but Europe, Magna’s other major market, has been a drag, according to the weekly financial paper.

Any improvement in Europe should benefit Magna, it said.

European car registrations, which is a measure of car demand, fell to 12.5 million in 2012, down from 16 million in 2007. While 2013 is on track for another annual decline, registrations picked up for three straight months through November, according to data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.

Analysts expect European car sales to rise modestly in 2014 and 2015, Barron’s said.

Magna’s stock, which closed at $82.87 a share on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange, is “cheap,” Barron’s said.

“A debt-free balance sheet, ample cash, and a robust stock-buyback plan give the shares an even nicer shine,” it said.

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