Ford shares rise, but Wall Street still wants its forecast for next year

Shares of Ford Motor Co. rose on Thursday when the automaker gained points with Wall Street for being a little more direct with its 2019 targets, though it failed to issue an official outlook.


F, + 3.18%

Late on Wednesday, a surprise was reported for the loss of GAAP in the fourth quarter and revenues above expectations. On Thursday, stocks traded at their best in little more than a week and were ready to break a two-day losing streak.

The press release with the quarterly results was scant in details. In the conference call with badysts, Chief Executive Jim Hackett said the company would share more details about its restructuring plan "in the coming months," but he needed to do those announcements in a "coordinated" manner.

However, as the call progressed, the administration "reached a more definitive and improved tone with its 4Q18 earnings," Goldman Sachs badysts said in a note on Thursday.

Related: Tesla profits: investors expect a second consecutive quarterly profit

The company "may be operating with a greater sense of urgency this year and expect a series of announcements in the next 6 to 9 months" to help improve its business in low-performing regions and improve core North American results, Goldman badysts, led by David Tamberrino, said.

The company appears ready to reveal restructuring plans to reorganize its business in Europe and South America, badysts said. Goldman maintained its purchase rating at Ford.

"However, we still expect the 2019 results to be choppy and flat 2018" with a likely first half of the year, mainly because "the winds against China continue to weigh before the introduction of new products."

See also: Alliance between Ford and VW: do not get too excited, says Morgan Stanley

Analysts at Deutsche Bank said that investors' frustration at "the perception of slow progress in Ford's restructuring shares" remains high, but also drops to zero in the hope that there will be more announcements.

"Our opinion remains that Ford shares could generate large efficiencies that are underestimated by investors," said the badysts, led by Emmanuel Rosner. Deutsche maintained its rating on Ford shares in the purchase.

Ford repeatedly mentioned a recovery in the second half of the year, but the concern is whether its business in North America can continue to perform well in the second half "while we wait for the recovery of China / EU 2H". Ford needs to thread the needle, "said ISI's badysts Evercore, which badysts, led by Chris McNally, maintained the equivalent of a Ford stock retention rating.

Read more: Profits from the chips provide a sigh of relief for the technology.

BMO Capital Markets badysts said that despite the tone of Ford, the administration did not offer specific guidance for the year, and that leads them to maintain the equivalent of maintaining the rating of the shares.

"Certainly there is significant value buried in Ford's shares, although we are not in a hurry to buy them with a still high market uncertainty (evidenced by management's reluctance to provide specific guidance) and weight lifting is still necessary to eliminate the barriers to better performance, "they said.

Ford shares have gained more than 12% in January, but have dropped 29% in the last 12 months. That compares with losses of 7% and 6.5% for the S & P 500 index

SPX, + 0.03%

and the Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, -0.19%

In the last 12 months.

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