Story updated at 10 a.m. to reflect market activity.
Shares of Ford gained 1.2% to $15.82 in morning trading.
The bank raised its price target for the automaker to $19 a share from $18.50. Analysts Rod Lache, Patrick Nolan, and Mike Levin said Ford is becoming more price competitive in trucks, and has attractive opportunities in China.
"We believe that Ford's new truck will be more differentiated, and in many ways widen the gap vs. the competitors," the analysts wrote. "We'd also note that the price premium for Ford's vs. GM's pickup trucks has declined to the lowest level in years (to ~$150/unit vs. a 5-year average of $3,000), which seems to offer a significant pricing opportunity for Ford with their new truck. And perhaps just as significantly, based on more detailed information that we have gathered from consultants, suppliers, and other industry contacts, we now believe that Ford's new F150 will be significantly more cost competitive than we originally perceived."
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates FORD MOTOR CO as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate FORD MOTOR CO (F) a BUY. This is driven by multiple 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 solid stock price performance, revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these 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:
- Powered by its strong earnings growth of 85.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 29.25% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, F should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 4.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 187.25% to $315.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, FORD MOTOR CO has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 30.77%.
- FORD MOTOR CO reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FORD MOTOR CO increased its bottom line by earning $1.75 versus $1.42 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 22.0% in earnings ($1.37 versus $1.75).
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: F Ratings Report
Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.