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Ford (F) Testing Driverless Car Technology

Stocks in this article: FTSLANSANY

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Ford (F) is testing two new driverless car technologies at a research facility in Germany.  The first is a car that parks itself without anyone in the driver's seat, and the second is precognition to automatically turn the wheel when a pedestrian is ahead.

Though still in the beta stage, the autonomous developments make Ford the latest automaker to join the race to put a driverless car on the market.

In September, Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk tweeted company plans to develop a self-driving car by 2017. Musk wrote of "intense effort underway at Tesla to develop a practical autopilot system for Model S".

Nissan (NSANY) has also commented it hopes to have an autonomous car ready to go to market by 2020.

Ford shares are 1.3% higher to $16.84 as of 11:19 a.m. New York time, on par with the S&P 500 which is up 1.28%. Ford will report third-quarter earnings on October 23.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Ford Motor Co as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate Ford Motor Co (F) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 9.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 70.52% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, F should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 55.68% to $6,078 million when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 18.07%.
  • FORD MOTOR CO has improved earnings per share by 15.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FORD MOTOR CO reported lower earnings of $1.42 vs. $5.01 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.54 vs. $1.42).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Automobiles industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 18.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $1,040 million to $1,233 million.

Written by Keris Alison Lahiff.

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