Ford’s stock rallies after Benchmark analyst turns bullish, sets new target implying 38% gain

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Shares of Ford Motor Co. rose 1.1% in premarket trading Monday, after the auto maker was upgraded by Benchmark analyst Michael Ward, citing expectations that third-quarter earnings and a new management team will provide a near-term catalyst for the stock. Ward raised his rating to buy from hold and established a stock price target of $10, which is 38% above Friday’s closing price of $7.25. “Better than expected North American production, a positive shift in mix, and improving metrics in the auto credit markets, in our view, are the primary drivers for better than expected earnings performance in the third quarter,” Ward wrote in a note to clients. “The management changes along with new product momentum and the benefits of cost improvement actions, in our opinion, are positive variables for the stock.” Ford is scheduled to report third-quarter results on Oct. 28, and named a new chief executive, Jim Farley, effective Oct. 1, and also named a new chief financial officer, John Lawler this month. The stock has lost 22.0% year to date through Friday, while shares of rival General Motors Co. have declined 12.1% and the S&P 500 has gained 7.6%.
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