Through the first eight months of the year, General Motors Company (GM) - Get Report was up a reasonable 4.8%. Not bad, but certainly lagging the 10.7% rally the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) - Get Report generated from January through August.
In September, though, GM stock has really put the pedal to the metal. Whereas the SPY ETF has climbed just 1% over the past month, General Motors has raced higher by nearly 10%. Despite this, the stock still yields close to 4%, paying out a 3.86% dividend yield.
So where to from here? Over the last few years, it's been easy to hate the automakers. Both General Motors and Ford Motor Company (F) - Get Report have been relatively stagnant. For instance, GM stock is up just 8.3% over the previous four years. But going forward, that may all change.
According to Deutsche Bank's Rod Lache, investors can be optimistic on GM stock. He upgraded General Motors to a buy and moved his price target to $51 from $36 -- a near 42% boost. Lache argues that GM will have driverless cars ready much sooner than most think and could possibly be "years ahead" of competitors. That's assuming Lache is including Tesla Inc (TSLA) - Get Report in that competitors group, a position many may not agree with.
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One concern may be Millennials and city dwellers not needing or wanting to buy a personal vehicle. However, Lache argues that a fleet of driverless cars being used on a ride-sharing platform could be a major catalyst for GM. Remember that GM has invested in ride-hailing company Lyft and owns the ride-sharing platform Maven as well.
Additionally, Lache argues that GM's Mobility business is quickly gaining value, suggesting it could be worth more than $30 billion (or $20 per share).
Lache's report comes just a few days after Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas boosted his price target on GM to $43, but said General Motors could be worth $56 on a sum-of-the-parts valuation.
Lache's price target suggests about 27.5% upside from current prices. GM is nearing its highest prices since December 2013.
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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author had no positions in the stocks mentioned.