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Ford Stock Downgraded to 'Peer Perform' by Wolfe Research

Ford's stock price now reflects the upside, according to Wolfe Research, which also raised its one-year price target to $22 from $17.

Ford  (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report was downgraded to peer perform from outperform Thursday by a Wolfe Research analyst who also boosted his price target for the automaker to $22 from $17.

Shares of the Dearborn, MI company were up slightly to $19.60 at last check.

Analyst Rod Lache said in a research note that with Ford shares up about 80% since April and up 130% year-to-date, he now believes the stock reflects the upside that he has been anticipating based on the company's turnaround, according to the Fly.

Heading into 2022, Lache said he now prefers General Motors  (GM) - Get General Motors Company Report, largely because he sees significant upside optionality from Cruise, which GM acquired in 2016, as they prove the commercial viability of their Autonomous Driving platform, adding that he believes "core GM" earnings are likely to surprise to the upside.

In October, GM, the largest U.S. automaker, said it planned to boost electric vehicle sales, expand Cruise and continue to produce combustion engine cars could collectively lift annual revenues to around $280 billion by 2030.

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On Tuesday, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas noted that data from Motor Intelligence for October show that Ford sold 21,703 units of its all-electric Mustang Mach-E through the first 10 months of fiscal year 2021, while GM sold a combined 24,810 units of its Chevy Bolt through the same period. 

However, according to the Detroit News, GM has made the decision to not produce the Bolt for the remainder of the year, so Jonas predicted Ford's total FY21 battery EV sales will top GM's BEV sales in the U.S. this year.

Jonas, who sees Ford's global passenger vehicle BEV volume surpassing GM's in 2022, while trailing GM modestly longer-term, has an underweight rating and $12 price target on Ford shares.

Separately Citi analyst Itay Michaeli surveyed a panel of 1,200 adults planning to buy a vehicle, in order to gain a better understanding of electric vehicle pickup demand dynamics.

He said electric vehicle pickups "appear poised to further expand an already exceptionally strong" U.S. pickup truck market. Consumers considering an EV pickup expressed a willingness to pay a "healthy" price premium, yielding a greater likelihood that EV pickups can be earnings accretive for GM and Ford.

However, the survey doesn't point to an "imminent hard pivot away" from combustible engine pickups, Michaeli said.