This early bump follows Ford's report that unit sales in March were up 3.3% to 194,000 vehicles sold, eclipsing the consensus analysts estimate of a 1.1% gain.
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Sales of the motor company's Ford Fusion model were especially robust in March, up 9% to 32,963. That number represents the all time high for sales of the mid-size sedan which hasn't sold 30,000 vehicles in a month since its debut in October 2005.
The mid-size sedan market is the largest segment of the U.S. automarket.
The space has been dominated by the Toyota (TM) Camry -- America's top selling car -- for the last 12 years. The Ford Fusion ranked fourth in mid-size sedan sales in 2013 behind the Camry, the Honda (HMC) Accord and the Nissan (NSANY) Altima.
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 a number of 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 stock price during the past year, 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:
- Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 5.1%. 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 31.31%.
- 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