NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- My
recent articles on "sucker stocks"
generated a wee bit of angst among the various peanut galleries. The upshot: Some investors require mental-health counseling. I will address the relatively unstable later. For now, I focus on two auto stocks I would not touch with your brokerage account.
(F - Get Report)
(GM - Get Report)
. Despite including bearish remarks about these two companies in the same breath, I want to draw a key distinction between Ford and GM.
If any of the major automakers rise to the surface of one of the world's most difficult industries, it would be Ford, not GM.
Ford organizes areas of its company like a start-up. For example, the groups in charge of the company's in-car entertainment push work in small teams. They're young, tech-oriented people. They do not work for a car company, they work for a tech company. At least that's the mindset.
They would not look out of place in the halls of perpetual start-ups. In many ways, Ford is a bit like
. Stodgy old industry behemoth
reinventing itself and innovating
because it knows that that's the only viable way forward.
At GM, meantime, executives portray a confident exterior, while you know full well, chaos reigns on the inside. Instead of truly taking a look at itself in the mirror, GM took the
and socially acceptable route and blamed
for its ineffective advertising campaigns. And then, as any truly psychologically unstable being would do, GM blamed another external force for its woes --
The Super Bowl
Huh? I would not touch GM with my worst enemy's brokerage account. As for F, I would not touch it with your brokerage account. And that's because we get along.
At day's end, the lower the P/E ratios go on GM and F, the more bearish I become. I refuse to fall into that value trap. Wall Street has no confidence in the mass-market automakers' ability to sell cars with so much uncertainty in the air. And there's no guarantee that when the dust settles, GM and Ford will emerge as leaders.