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UBS: Ford Will Beat, General Motors Will Miss Q2 Street Views

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Automakers are in relatively good shape heading into the season for second-quarter earnings reports, an analyst said Monday.

UBS analyst Colin Langan expects Ford Motor (NYSE: F) will beat consensus profit expectations, while General Motors (NYSE: GM) logs a narrow miss as recall costs mask underlying strength.

Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA), meanwhile. will trade on conference call comments concerning its proposed "gigafactory" for batteries, Langan said in a note.

This will be Ford's first quarter with newly named Chief Executive Mark Fields in the driver's seat. "We expect him to deliver good news," Langan said.

With North American sales offsetting weaker performance in Latin America, Langan expects Ford profits of $0.40 per share, versus a consensus of $0.38. Langan has a Buy on Ford and raised his target from $18 to $22.

For General Motors, Langan forecast earnings of $0.51 per share, far below the Wall Street consensus of $0.84. Langan said other analysts haven't fully factored in $1.2 billion in recall costs.

Nonetheless Langan maintains a Buy rating on GM and raised his target from $49 to $54, citing an improved outlook for 2015.

With Tesla's management on record expecting "marginal profitability" in the second-quarter, Langan's profit prediction of $0.01 per share is well below the consensus $0.04.

In either case, Tesla's profits will be far below year-earlier earnings of $0.20 per share, as higher costs for research and development cut into gains.

"Given the long view of investors, we believe the stock will trade on the conference call commentary around demand in China and Europe" as well as timing of construction for the company's large-scale battery factory, with groundbreaking now expected in June.

Ford recently traded at $17.57, up 0.6 percent; GM was at $37.74, down 0.5 percent and Tesla was up nearly 4 percent at $226.50.

Latest Ratings for F

May 2018JefferiesUpgradesHoldBuy
May 2018PiperJaffrayDowngradesOverweightNeutral
May 2018Morgan StanleyMaintainsOverweightOverweight

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