Ford Motor Co shares are poised to rise in the next year, despite weak auto industry sales and uncertainty over the global economy, Barron's business weekly said on Sunday.
Ford is in a very strong position, it quoted David Cole, head of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as saying.
It has brought costs way down, has a well-integrated global platform, an excellent and still-growing market share and, most important, a really good product.
Barron's noted Ford's shares have soared in the past 18 months, jumping from $1.58 in February 2009, to $12.77 on Friday.
But, given still relatively weak auto sales in the U.S., Europe and Asia and continuing clouds over the global economy, can the stock keep rolling ahead?
Yes, say the bulls, and they have a strong case, the newspaper said.
It quoted John Murphy, a Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst as saying: Relative to the competition, Ford is near the top of the list.
We have lifted our earnings target and see the stock going to 20 (dollars) in the next 12 months.
Barron's said Ford's second-quarter earnings, which were 70 percent above Wall Street estimates, exceeded any full-year profit the company had posted in nine of the last 10 years.
Five months ago when Ford was trading slightly above where it is now, we viewed the stock as fully priced, Barron's said.
But Ford's latest results indicate that the plan laid out by CEO Alan Mulally -- to boost quality, simplify the lineup and create better vehicles -- will propel the company ahead faster than we expected.
(Reporting by Steve James; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)