Titan International Shares Soared: What You Need to Know

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What: News of a big boost in sales expectations gave a similar lift to Titan International (NYS: TWI) shares Thursday. Although most of the gains have slipped away as of this writing, at one point today Titan shares were up nearly 12%.

So what: Titan announced last night that full-year sales are tracking toward $1.4 billion, a level higher than its most optimistic best guess of earlier this year. Unfortunately, even $1.4 billion likely won't be enough to satisfy Wall Street, which has been predicting Titan would sell nearly $1.5 billion worth of goods this year.

Now what: This probably explains why the stock fell back nearly as fast as it rushed out of the gate this morning. At 38 times trailing earnings, Titan already has a lot of optimism baked into its stock price. On average, analysts expect the company to grow earnings nearly 25% per year over the next five years, including big jumps this year and next (which explains why its forward P/E ratio is only 7.1).

This could be a problem. To justify the stock's price, Titan probably needs to grow faster than consensus estimates. But based on yesterday's news, that's going to be difficult to accomplish. Unless Titan turns out to have been lowballing us when earnings finally come out, I could see the stock giving up quite a bit of its market premium.

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At the time this article was published Fool contributorRich Smithdoes not own shares of any company named above. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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