Ford and Renault Downgraded by Evercore as Analyst Sees 'Continued Struggles'

An analyst with Evercore ISI downgrades the automakers.
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An analyst with Evercore ISI downgraded Ford (F) - Get Report and Renault (RNLSY) Thursday, saying that he still sees "continued or increasing struggles" for the automakers.

Shares of Ford were off moderately to $9.27, while Renault shares were up slightly to $42.20. 

Analyst Chris McNally downgraded Ford to underperform from in-line. The analyst, who also cut his rating on Renault, said in a research note about the auto sector that the "weak will likely get weaker" in 2020 and strong original equipment manufacturers and suppliers may start to dominate.

McNally said he expects Ford's 2020 activity to be the definition of "muddle through."

Longer-term, McNally said that he sees risks remaining in both the European Union and China, where Ford's market position remains significantly weaker than it does in the U.S. truck market. He said Ford could see 2020 downside towards $7 if North America EBIT is weak enough to require an earnings per share cut closer to $1 and a potential trimming of the dividend.

Evercore said some of the risks facing the auto sector include production volatility and volume pressure; pricing and cost pressure for suppliers; European Union emissions regulations, including consumer response to CO2 rules.

Analysts also see continued struggles for Daimler  (DMLRY) , Veoneer (VNE) - Get Report and Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report. Evercore's core long recommendations include Volkswagen (VWAGY) , BMW, General Motors (GM) - Get Report and Aptiv (APTV) - Get Report.

In October, Renault dismissed CEO Thierry Bollore, less than a year after a scandal erupted surrounding former chief Carlos Ghosn on allegations of financial misconduct linked to his role as chairman at Nissan  (NSANY) .

On Tuesday, Ghosn arrived in Lebanon after fleeing Japan, where he faced charges of financial wrongdoing.