Shares of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCAU) were surging nealry 6% to $16.45 in Wednesday morning trading after Barclays upgraded the Italian-American automaker to "Overweight" from "Equalweight."

Barclays analyst Brian Johnson argues the company is one of the only traditional automakers with real earnings potential, strategic options and a compelling operating story.

Furthermore, Johnson notes that investors are undervaluing the Fiat Chrysler's potential profit boosts from additional light truck capacity.

He contends that Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, who will step down in 18 months from his position, remains open to a range of strategic options to drive shareholder value further.

"At a minimum," Johnson sees Fiat Chrysler getting closer to the 2018 targets than does consensus.

More of What's Trending on TheStreet:

More from Stocks

What the Government Shutdown Means for Retail

What the Government Shutdown Means for Retail

China's Massive Liquidity Injection Masks the Bear Market

China's Massive Liquidity Injection Masks the Bear Market

Netflix, Morgan Stanley, Taiwan Semi and John Bogle - 5 Things You Must Know

Netflix, Morgan Stanley, Taiwan Semi and John Bogle - 5 Things You Must Know

Stocks Slide as US Targets Huawei, Unsettling Trade Talks; TSMC Rattles Tech

Stocks Slide as US Targets Huawei, Unsettling Trade Talks; TSMC Rattles Tech

Real Money Report Card: Big Week for Bank Earnings

Real Money Report Card: Big Week for Bank Earnings