What’s Behind This Sleeper Stock’s 50% Gain?

Written By Jason Simpkins

Posted March 23, 2024

Normally, I wouldn’t do this, but today I want to talk about a company Jason Williams and I brought into our Wealth Advisory portfolio last November. 

It’s up 23% since we made our recommendation, including a 9% surge in just the past month. 

And if you zoom out even further, it’s up about 50% in just the past year.

The company in question is Oshkosh Corp. (NYSE: OSK).

Like I said, we don’t normally give picks like this away, but Oshkosh is a pretty big company with a market cap of $7.75 billion. 

It’s also fairly well known, considering it’s been around for 107 years.

If you don’t know Oshkosh proper, then you may be familiar with some of its brands and products.

The company makes heavy-duty service equipment like fire engines, mail trucks, tow trucks, garbage trucks, cement trucks, construction equipment, forklifts, cherry pickers, and even light armored tactical vehicles for the military…

However, it retails these products through a swath of subsidiaries and brands, like JLG and SkyTrak. Or they’re acquired by governments from municipalities all the way up to the federal level.

For example, Oshkosh recently landed a $6 billion contract for the U.S. Postal Service’s next-gen electric delivery vehicle.

You may have seen them around, as they look kind of funny.

Electric Mail Truck

But that’s actually a key part of the company’s success. 

While Oshkosh has a long history of making some very traditional products, it’s still extremely focused on future development — pursuing not only cleaner, greener vehicles, but autonomous and intelligent products as well. 

So there’s plenty of room for growth despite the company’s size.

And Oshkosh is growing — rather rapidly, in fact.

That is, the stock’s upward trajectory has been underpinned by a series of strong earnings statements.

The latest, released in January showed:

  • 4Q sales up 12%, to $2.5 billion
  • 4Q net income of $151 million, or $2.28 per diluted share, compared with net income of $75 million, or $1.14 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2022. 
  • Defense earnings increasing by 11% despite the company losing its Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) contract with the Army.
  • And defense segment operating income surging 205%, to $60.8 million, from $20 million a year ago.

As you can see, Oshkosh has also benefited from higher levels of defense spending, worldwide.

But that’s not all. 

Another key piece of the puzzle came to light earlier this month, when Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Anupam Khare said Oshkosh was set to see a jump in productivity thanks to AI.

Oshkosh began using AI in 2019, automating simple tasks and then virtual conversation bots for customer service call centers. 

From there, it moved on to predictive analytics, processing massive amounts of data to identify patterns.

Now it has roughly 200 active algorithms working and making recommendations to streamline its business. And it’s currently working directly with Microsoft and OpenAI to expand on that.

As an example, Khare pointed to the company’s network of 50-plus buyers, who routinely email and call thousands of parts vendors. 

“Now we have a bot which basically writes an email for them, follows up, and when the email comes, the bot reads the email and does the job,” Khare said. “So we were spending 100 hours a day on just follow-up, which our buyers didn’t like. And now this is being done by bots in less than five minutes.”

Oshkosh has also invested in Eatron Technologies — a developer of AI-powered battery management software that can help optimize its EV product line.

This is why AI is being touted as such a game-changer. The companies that make effective use of it have been able to get a huge edge.

All of these algorithms are benign developed, deployed, and refined in a way that’s expanding cost savings and improving efficiency. 

And it’s not just the AI companies themselves that are benefiting. 

It’s companies like Oshkosh — a 107-year-old mainstay in a relatively quiet segment like heavy-duty service trucks. 

And in this case, that means investors can profit from the best of both worlds by investing in a company with a strong stable business model — but also improving its profitability through technological adaptation.

Of course, if you really want to profit from AI, you should check out my latest report here.

It has all the details on one of the leading players in the game — a company that’s poised to rake in massive AI profits.

Fight on,

Jason Simpkins Signature

Jason Simpkins

Simpkins is the founder and editor of Secret Stock Files, an investment service that focuses on companies with assets — tangible resources and products that can hold and appreciate in value. He covers mining companies, energy companies, defense contractors, dividend payers, commodities, staples, legacies and more…

In 2023 he joined The Wealth Advisory team as a defense market analyst where he reviews and recommends new military and government opportunities that come across his radar, especially those that spin-off healthy, growing income streams. For more on Jason, check out his editor’s page.

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