While Ford Motor Co. (F) has suffered through a difficult first half of the year, losing over one third of its value since mid-January, one team of bulls on the Street forecasts a turnaround ahead if the company can pull through with its $11 billion restructuring plan, as outlined in a recent Barron's story.
Trading up 0.8% on Tuesday morning at $9.80, Ford shares reflect a 20.7% loss year-to-date (YTD), sharply underperforming the S&P 500's 7.3% increase and lagging its industry peers. The decline has been driven by a handful of factors including concerns over its dividend, trade wars, earnings misses and intense competition in next-generation autonomous and electric vehicle markets. (See also: 4 Stocks That Can Win the Electric Car Race.)
Morgan Stanley's Adam Jonas wrote a note to clients speaking to the massive restructuring as a necessary step for the Detroit automaker, rather than a luxury, due to the firms myriad issues, as cited by Barron's. Back in March, Ford finally got a buy rating from analysts at Morgan Stanley after four years of bearishness. Shares rallied on a note indicating that the automaker's F-150 pickup franchise alone is worth more than 150% of the firm's value.
Ford Phasing Out Passenger Cars
In April, Ford announced that it would cut out less-profitable businesses and stop making nearly all passenger cars to focus 90% of its portfolio on trucks and SUVs by 2020.
While Ford hasn't provided too much detail on the restructuring plans, Morgan Stanley writes that total charges, worth roughly a third of Ford's enterprise value "may be enough to reduce the revenue footprint of the company by as much as 25 to 30%." Ford decided to cancel its annual investor day, which added stress to many who have ran out of patience for the automaker. Yet Morgan Stanley views the move as potentially raising expectations for a "big bang" of action.
"Our thesis is primarily underpinned by restructuring and strategic redeployment that, properly executed, can halt years of underperformance," wrote Jonas. (See also: Ford Spikes on Earnings Beat, Drops Some Sedans.)