Bill Nygren's Oakmark Comments on Daimler AG
Another large detractor from Fund performance was Daimler AG (DAI), a global automotive manufacturer, which declined 23% in the quarter. We believe the stock suffered due to continued relative underperformance; soft sales in China, as compared to BMW and Audi; investor concerns about the Brazilian and Western European truck business; and worries about the overall global economy. Despite these issues, in its first fiscal quarter Daimler reported higher-than-expected revenue across all business lines except the small buses division. We believe Daimler will benefit over the next few years as it launches new Mercedes models. The Mercedes brand is much later into its model cycle than BMW or Audi, and the company’s plans to ramp up the number of new model launches in 2013 should bring better growth and higher profitability. We remain excited about the future prospects for this high-quality company and believe it is trading at a significant discount to intrinsic value.