Daimler AG said in a recent statement that its sales rose 24 percent to EUR26.4 billion euros. The company posted earnings before interest and taxes that failed to meet estimates after boosting development spending for Mercedes-Benz cars. Its fourth-quarter operating profit of EUR1.56 billion missed the average estimate of 16 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg for a profit of EUR2.03 billion.
Mercedes’ fourth-quarter profit margin dropped to 8.3 percent from 9.5 percent in the third, as Daimler boosted Mercedes’ development spending by 15 percent to EUR3.1 billion in 2010.
In a Feb. 4, 2011 study, PricewaterhouseCoopers said tight vehicle supply is causing delivery delays in Germany, as manufacturers shift cars to China and the United States.
Juergen Pieper, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Bankhaus Metzler who has a “buy” rating on the shares, said there’s “nothing seriously wrong” but the market was just expecting more.
Daimler’s stock traded at EUR54.35 as of 11:13 a.m. in Frankfurt, valuing the carmaker at EUR57.9 billion. Previous Daimler shares had gained about 50 percent since the end of 2009. Daimler, which is also the world's largest truck maker, fell as much as EUR2.39, or 4.3 percent, to EUR53.59, the steepest decline since Jan. 20, 2011.