NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Ford Motor Co. (F) - Get Report are gaining by 2.62% to $14.09 in mid-morning trading on Tuesday, as the company is said to be in talks with Google (GOOGL) to help build its self-driving cars.

If the contract manufacturing deal is finalized, it's expected to be announced during the annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas at the beginning of January, Automotive News reports.

A Google spokesman would not comment to Automotive News, but did confirm that the company is talking to automakers.

While Ford has trailed most competitors, the company has stepped up efforts to develop self-driving cars earlier this year and said it would expand advanced safety technology, such as automatic breaking and hands-free operation of cars under specific conditions, Reuters reports.

Earlier this month, Ford announced it secured a permit to begin testing self-driving cars on public roads in California next year.

TheStreet's Jim Cramer, Portfolio Manager of the Action Alerts Plus charitable trust, commented on the potential Ford/Google deal saying: "You don't buy Ford on this, you buy Alphabet because it is an engine of ideas including the monetization of YouTube in 2016."

Separately, recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:

We rate FORD MOTOR CO as a Buy with a ratings score of B. 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 increase in net income, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and notable return on equity. We feel its 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 net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Automobiles industry. The net income increased by 128.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $835.00 million to $1,909.00 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $6,455.00 million or 20.22% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, FORD MOTOR CO has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 12.14%.
  • FORD MOTOR CO reported significant earnings per share improvement 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 $0.78 versus $1.75 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.63 versus $0.78).
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. In comparison to the other companies in the Automobiles industry and the overall market, FORD MOTOR CO's return on equity significantly exceeds that of the industry average and is above that of the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: F