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Citigroup Says 'Go Long Pickups,' Prefers General Motors Over Ford

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In a report published Tuesday, Citigroup analyst Itay Michaeli commented on General Motors Company's (NYSE: GM) U.S. February sales data.

According to Michaeli, General Motors' below consensus February sales were due to a weather-related slowdown. On the other hand, the sales report did suggest that industry pricing was "strong" as average transaction prices were $1,100 higher year-over-year with "reasonable" incentive spending.

Michaeli noted that auto stocks continues to face both positive (lower gas prices) and negative (weak yen) macro events in 2015. The analyst added that General Motors is better positioned than Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) with lower yen exposure and higher exposure to the truck segment.

"This contributed to our higher conviction view of GM shares this year and our call that General Motors would trade at a premium to peers by year end 2015 (versus current discount)," Michaeli wrote. "While one month doesn't make a trend, we believe the February and year to date numbers provide support to our thesis."

Bottom line, February was a "solid month" for full-size pickup demand. General Motors had a "stellar" month in the segment while Ford's mix of F-150 sales were "a touch on the light" at only 21 percent versus January's 18 percent.

Shares of General Motors are Buy rated with a $49 price target.

Shares of Ford are Neutral rated with a $16 price target.

 

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Posted-In: auto sales Citigroup F-150 gas prices Itay MichaeliAnalyst Color Analyst Ratings Trading Ideas

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