This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Ford, GM Shares Buoyed by Hopes for March

Stocks in this article: F GM

Detroit (TheStreet) -- Auto sales were flat in February, but automakers and analysts blamed the weather for the third straight month of flat or lower sales and looked to March for a boost.

Trading in shares of the two publicly traded Detroit automakers reflected optimism. GM (GM) shares had a good day Monday, rising in a down market. The shares gained 1 cent to close at $36.21. Year-to-date after Monday's close, GM shares were down 11.4%, while the S&P 500 was flat for the year.

Ford (F) shares fell 19 cents on Monday to close at $15.20, down 1.5% for the year. But Ford shares were rising and among the most active in pre-market trading Tuesday. Minutes after the opening, Ford was trading up 11 cents at $15.31 and GM was up 31 cents to $36.52.

In a report issued Tuesday, JPMorgan analyst Ryan Brinkman referred to a "month-end surge" in February sales and said he expects a strong March. "We are encouraged by commentary from both GM and Ford on the cadence of sales throughout the month, with sharp improvement toward month-end, the portion of the month in which weather was least harsh," he wrote.

Brinkman wrote that the 1% decline in GM sales was far better than the consensus estimate of an 8.4% decline. He noted the slowdown in the rate of year-over-year decline in closely watched pickup sales -- Combined Silverado and GMC Sierra sales fell 8.9% in February compared with a decline of 17.1% in January and 9.4% in December. Brinkman said GM pickup sales benefited from "an incentives campaign that captured disproportionate consumer attention while representing only modestly higher cost to the company."

GM's share of pickup truck sales rebounded to 35% in February from 33.3% in the prior two months and a low of 31.4% in November, Brinkman wrote. He rates both GM and Ford as overweight.

"The first half (of February) was a bit slow, but we saw a very good rebound over the past two weeks," said John Felice, vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service, on the Ford sales call. He said a parts shortage caused by the weather disruption pushed 10,000 fleet sales into March, which is seemingly a good start for the current month.

"We feel as we head into March we'll be in very good shape," he said.

In a note issued Tuesday, Sterne Agee analyst Michael Ward noted that auto sales rose 7.5% in 2014 and he expects a fifth consecutive annual improvement in 2014.

However, Ward wrote, "Sales have been lower than expected in the first two months of 2014 and while weather had some impact on the total, continued sluggishness in the spring selling season would likely result in downward revisions to our assumptions."

Auto sales were flat in December, down 3% in January and flat in February. Ward currently expects sales of 16 million units in 2014, which is slightly below most estimates. Sales totaled 15.5 million in 2013.

Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

To contact this writer,
click here.

Follow @tedreednc

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,778.15 +421.28 2.43%
S&P 500 2,061.23 +48.34 2.40%
NASDAQ 4,748.3960 +104.0840 2.24%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs