GM-Ford rivalry extends to choosing sides in stock market

GM-Ford rivalry extends to choosing sides in stock market http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/stocks/2010-12-09-fordvsgm09_ST_N.htm
Loyalties run deep when it comes to domestic car brands.
Some would rather push a Ford than drive a GM. To others, a GM in the driveway is a glistening thing of beauty.
But when it comes to deciding between Ford and General Motors stock, emotions have no place.
Investors hoping to bet on the anticipated recovery of U.S. auto sales are weighing if Ford (F) or GM (GM) deserves a parking spot in their portfolio. Now that GM has emerged from bankruptcy and has been publicly traded again for three weeks, the decision of Ford vs. GM stock is back.
Choosing between the stocks requires seeing how the automakers match up on stock valuation, strategy and positioning in the marketplace. "It's impossible to analyze GM without comparing it with Ford," says Jason Alper, analyst at BTIG.
Thanks to cost-cutting and, in GM's case, a trip to bankruptcy court, both companies say they can sell cars profitably even if U.S. car sales stay soft next year. Still, while both stocks are plays on increasing car demand, the companies are in very different places and there are countless considerations for investors to deal with. To help, here are the cases for both Ford and GM stock.
The case for GM
GM is back on Wall Street, but it looks very different this time. Key changes during the restructuring make it a compelling investment despite its troubled past, Alper says.
Trading less than $2 above its initial offering price of $33 a share makes GM a value, Alper says. GM's stock price could be $47.50 in a year based on his estimates of what the company might earn next year, he says. Alper estimates that even with a tepid recovery in U.S. car sales, GM can earn $5.30 a share in 2011, up from just 24 cents a share over the past 12 months. If he's right, that would give GM a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.5, which is well below Ford's expected 8.1 P-E.
During the bankruptcy, GM slashed its pile of long-term debt from $100 billion to less than $5 billion and shed four large divisions, including Saab and Pontiac. Those changes plus renegotiations with the union mean GM saves several hundred dollars of costs per car sold, he says.
So even if GM continues to lose market share in the U.S., it can break even if only between 10 million and 11 million cars are sold in the country yearly. That's a much easier hurdle than the nearly 15 million to 16 million in yearly U.S. car sales GM needed just to break even before, Alper says. "This is a massive positive change to the cost structure," he says.
The knock against GM
Some consumers, disgusted by the bailout, have "crossed GM off their list," says Efraim Levy, stock analyst at Standard & Poor's. Also, based on Wall Street estimates, GM is expected to earn $3.90 a share next year. Based on that, GM investors are paying $8.83 for every $1 in expected earnings. That's a premium to the $8.14 investors are paying for every $1 of earnings Ford is expected to generate in 2011, Thomson Reuters says. Levy rates GM a hold, as well as Ford. "I'm not buying at these prices," he says.
The case for Ford
Even though the U.S. car market plummeted in 2009 to its worst year since the early 1980s, Ford didn't take government bailout money.
That might just sound like a point of company pride, but Ford's strength amid the crisis has spurred many car buyers who might not have considered Ford before to take a look at its products, says William Selesky, analyst at Argus Research, who rates Ford a buy. Much of Ford's gains have come at GM's expense.
Meanwhile, while GM had to focus on restructuring, Ford has already tuned up its product lineup and has vehicles U.S. consumers want, says Steven Dyer, analyst at Craig-Hallum Capital. "Long term, Ford is where I put my bet," he says.
The knock against Ford
Ford's recovery hasn't gone unnoticed by investors, who have pushed the stock up 67% this year to $15.94. Furthermore, the company will need to compete against GM, which has shed a massive chunk of debt and has some lingering tax benefits. After such a run in the stock, S&P's Levy cut Ford to a hold rating because there's not much upside to his one-year $17-a-share price target.
But above all, this is a battle that will be settled in the dealers' showrooms. S&P's Levy thinks the U.S. auto sales recovery is just getting started as consumers replace their aging rust buckets.
"You need to have a vehicle lineup that's well received by the public," Selesky says. "That's what it comes down to."
--
"Your first, last, and only line of defense-a Cohort of Roman Heavy
Infantry"
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 09/12/2010 10:14 AM, Jim_Higgins wrote:

Ford by a long shot. Makes money and better products. Hasn't got the brand damage of GM with taxpayers. Ford Credit isn't going to be run down with bad credit types like I bet AmeriCredit is undergoing.
Stock price is zero value. GM being priced higher for one share is irrelevant. How much of the company is you piece and how much money you will make (or in GMs case, probably loose).
GM is a red flag, with a PE of 142.36:1 it is a rock solid loser. 8.87:1 for Ford is FAR more respectable.
EPS for Ford, $1.89, GM is $0.24, again, Ford is a winner over GM.
Only fools would buy GM at this valuation. Government pump and dump.
And priceless, Ford didn't dump off a GM and GMAC to taxpayers.
--
Socialism is a great ideal as long as someone else pays for it. And when
no one is left to pay for it, they all can share nothing.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

In the short run you might see GM stocks go up for a while.
In the long run GM stocks will go down again and probably all the way down as they did before.
It is like always a bit hard to predict the future but because GM has not really changed the long future is not that hard to predict.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.