Wall Street isn't letting a 93% explosion in the value of Ford's stock this year stop them from predicting further gains ahead as the automaker continues to chop away at costs and rolls out a host of new electric vehicles.
"Q3 results were solid globally showing the benefit of restructuring the new higher margin products and we continue to see numerous catalysts including production recovery as semi capacity comes back, further updates on Argo AI, and new product launches," said Wells Fargo analyst Colin Langan in a note to clients on Thursday after Ford's earnings release.
Langan hiked his price target on Ford to $19 from $17, projecting about 10% from current levels. He continues to rate shares an Overweight (the equivalent of Buy).
The bullishness on Ford's stock reflects the ongoing turnaround at the company under CEO Jim Farley.
Ford reported Wednesday evening third quarter adjusted earnings of 51 cents a share, trouncing analyst estimates for 27 cents. Net sales of $33.2 billion beat analyst projections by about $800 million despite the semiconductor shortage crimping production levels.
For the full year, Ford now sees adjusted profits of $10.5 billion to $11.5 billion. Previously, Ford expected earnings of $9 billion to $10 billion. The company also reinstated its dividend, which it had cut at the height of the pandemic in 2020.
Shares of Ford rose 9% on Thursday's trading session. The stock was the top trending ticker on the Yahoo Finance platform for most of the day.
On a call with analysts, Farley struck a bullish tone on the potential for new models in 2022 such as the electric F-150 Lightning and hybrid pickup Maverick.
"2021 continues to unfold better than initially expected, with improvements and positive surprises all around, particularly on cash, with dividend reinstated. FY '21 adjusted EBIT [earnings before interest, taxes] guidance raised 15% and 13% above consensus. An unusually early glimpse into 2022 came with a cautious tone of volume at +10% but more upbeat than GM on products, mix and price," said Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois.
Houchois lifted his price target on Ford's stock to $17 from $15 and retained a buy rating.