Titan's numbers are too wild

The stock is extremely volatile. And while that's not unexpected, it is a reason to sell into the current rally.

By Jim J. Jubak Jan 24, 2012 4:22PM
On Dec. 9, Titan International (TWI) told Wall Street to expect 2011 sales of around $1.4 billion (slightly below the Wall Street consensus of $1.48 billion) and 2012 sales of $1.7 billion to $1.9 billion (consensus stood at $1.82 billion).

Nothing wrong with those numbers -- or with Wall Street’s estimates of a whopping 194% increase in earnings for 2011 from 2010 or with the 59% earnings growth rate projected for 2012.

But as anyone who bought this stock when I recommended it in my Jubak’s Picks portfolio on July 1, 2011 knows, Titan International is an extremely volatile stock that rises and falls with fear and hope about growth and earnings in the commodities sector. Since that purchase date the stock has traded as low as $13.83 on Oct. 3 and as high as $24.81 on Jan. 24. That’s not unexpected of a company that sells tires to the makers and users of giant earth moving equipment used in mining (as well as tires for farm equipment and construction), but it does give me pause.

Titan has galloped ahead at the head of the herd in this rally, climbing 37% from Dec. 19. With the good news on sales for 2011 and 2012 hardly a secret, and with analysts going gaga for the stock after the company signed a contract with Caterpillar (CAT) to supply that company with tires, I think it’s time to sell into this rally and look to buy another day. (In Jubak’s Picks I’ve got a 0.7% loss on these shares.)

It’s not like 2012 won’t offer lots of volatility and possible future entry points.

At the time of this writing, Jim Jubak didn't own shares of any companies mentioned in this post in personal portfolios. The mutual fund he manages, Jubak Global Equity Fund (JUBAX), may or may not own positions in any stock mentioned. The fund did own shares of Titan International as of the end of September. For a full list of the stocks in the fund as of the end of the most recent quarter, see the fund's portfolio here. 

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