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GM Called a Hold by Standard & Poor's

DETROIT ( TheStreet) -- Standard & Poor's has initiated coverage of General Motors (GM - Get Report) with a hold.

In a report issued Monday, S&P analyst Efraim Levy said his price target is $36. He expects the automaker to earn $2.78 in 2010 and $3.62 in 2011. He assigned a multiple of ten to his 2011 estimate.

He said GM benefits from a bankruptcy that brought "reduced operating and borrowing costs and a greater focus on its remaining vehicle brands" and from an expectation of rising industry sales in 2011, partially offset by higher raw material costs.

Levy also has a hold on Ford (F - Get Report). On Nov. 17, he downgraded Ford from buy and set a target price of $18.

Levy increased his estimates for Ford to $1.92 in 2010 and $2.13 in 2011, noting that the company has improving capacity utilization rates, partially offset by higher raw material costs. He said the GM IPO does not impact Ford "as Ford's progress is product and efficiency driven."

Many analysts have said they expect Ford shares to rise to the $20 range .

Shortly after midday, GM shares were trading down four cents at $34.22. Ford stock was trading up 15 cents a share at $16.43.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed

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