Among much negative news reporting on the auto industry in general, the news recently has been positive regarding Ford. On the Wall Street Journal’s “Auto Industry Tracker” blog yesterday, Matthew Dolan wrote that “Ford got an additional boost Monday from two Wall Street analysts who bumped up their outlook for the company.” Dolan cited Patrick Archambault at Goldman, Sachs & Co. raising his price target Monday to $7 from $6 and Himanshu Patel, of J.P. Morgan, concluding that “the valuation of Ford stock may be in excess of $6.”
Phil LeBeau of CNBC.com’s “Behind the Wheel” also reported that Ford CEO Alan Mulally told him, “We are turning the tide in North America.” LeBeau continued:
“Things have improved so much in the U.S. Mulally says the company will increase production by 25% in the second quarter….Mulally won’t change Ford’s target of being profitable by 2011, but the truth is this company could be back in the black before then. Especially if auto sales and the economy start to improve. The Ford CEO believes auto sales bottomed out in the first quarter.”
Whether the turn around will occur as quickly as reported is obviously still an open issue, but the fact that analysts are reporting positively and that Ford is reporting increased production can be seen as a bright spot.