CEO of Ford Motor Co. Jim Farley speaks at a press conference at the Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Michigan on September 17, 2020.
Rebecca Cook | Reuters
DETROIT. Ford Motor’s market value topped $100 billion for the first time as the automaker’s shares hit a new 52-week high on Thursday.
Shares of the company jumped 5.7% to $25.87, hitting another high in 20-plus years. As of 13:50 Thursday, its market value was about $102 billion.
The gain was driven by Ford’s plans to ramp up production of electric vehicles, including the Mustang Mach-E crossover and the upcoming electric version of its best-selling F-150 pickup due this spring. The effort is part of Ford+’s reorganization plan led by CEO Jim Farley, who took over at the helm in October 2020.
Ford is now worth more than rival General Motors (about $90 billion) and electric vehicle start-up Rivian Automotive ($75 billion), which failed to maintain profits after a blockbuster IPO in November. Ford continues to lag far behind Tesla, which has a market capitalization of over $1 trillion.
The automaker is rated as overweight with a target price of $21.83 per share, according to FactSet’s average analysis of 22 analysts. But not all Wall Street analysts didn’t fully believe Ford’s changes.
“The stock market’s attraction to the Ford EV story continues to take us by surprise,” Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas told investors in a note Thursday titled “Ford’s market capitalization tops $100 billion: what’s in the value?”
Morgan Stanley’s target price for Ford is $12 per share. According to Jonas, his stock is bullish at $25 per share.
“Ford’s share price performance is impressive, and management deserves credit for changing the strategic narrative that prompted the repricing,” Jonas said. “However, at this stage, we believe that the risks facing Ford and the sector are growing faster than the opportunities.”
Jonas cited concerns about the return of the auto industry’s historically cyclical nature, problems with scaling electric vehicle production and bringing more competitive and attractive electric vehicles to market against Ford.
– CNBC Michael Bloom contributed to this report.