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Ford Hits New 52-Week High

Zacks Equity Research

Shares of Ford Motor Co. (F) reached new 52-week high of $15.32 on May 22, which is above its previous level of $15.23 and closed at low-point of $14.97 on the same date. Their last closing price was $14.79, which represented a solid one-year return of 43.2% and year-to-date return of 13.7%.

The world’s leading automaker has a market cap of $58.1 billion. Average volume of shares traded over the last three months stood at approximately 36,872.6K.

Shares of the company started escalating following the release of its impressive first quarter results on Apr 24. Ford posted an increase of 4.1% in earnings to $1.6 billion and 5.1% in earnings per share to 41 cents in the quarter, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3 cents. Revenues improved 10.5% to $35.8 billion, exceeding the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $32.8 billion.

The improvement in revenues and earnings was mainly attributable to Ford’s strong performance in North America and Asia Pacific Africa. The company’s results were disappointing in South America due to unfavorable exchange rate as well as in Europe due to the sluggish economy.

Revenues in Ford Automotive grew 11.1% to $33.9 billion on a 10.2% rise in wholesale volumes to 1.5 million units. The increase was attributable to market share gains in both North America and Asia Pacific Africa. However, pre-tax profit fell 10.6% to $1.6 billion (5.2% of sales) from $1.8 billion (6.4%) due to poor performance in Europe and South America.

Ford Credit registered a 12.2% rise in pre-tax operating profits to $507 million from $452 million a year ago due to higher receivables and favorable residual performance, offset partially by lower credit loss reserve reductions.

Ford expects its 2013 market share in the U.S. to be higher than 2012, Europe to be almost the same as in 2012, and China to be higher than 2012. Its market share in 2012 was 15.2% in the U.S., 7.9% in Europe and 3.2% in China.

Currently, shares of Ford retain a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Few stocks that are performing well in the broader industry include Federal-Mogul Corp. (FDML), Visteon Corp. (VC) and Tower International, Inc. (TOWR). They carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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