With the share price of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) slipping from its recent 52-week high, now is an excellent opportunity to buy stock in the legendary American automaker.
In early November, F stock closed above $20 for the first time since 2001. As recently as April 2020, Ford’s share price was trading below $5, putting it in penny stock territory. The automaker’s stock began 2021 trading at $8.52 per share. Since then, it has rallied 129% to now trade at $20.27, which is 6% below its 52-week high of $21.49 reached on Dec. 10.
The incredible run higher this year is the result of Ford successfully executing on its electric vehicle (EV) strategy. This year, Ford rolled out several highly anticipated battery-powered models of some of its most iconic vehicles, including the F-150 pick-up truck and Mustang muscle car.
Given how effectively and quickly Ford is moving forward with its EV plans, investors should look for every opportunity to buy the dip in this legendary automotive manufacturer.
Strong Sales and Demand
Ford is all in on electric vehicles, and has publicly set itself the goal of producing 600,000 battery-powered cars, trucks and SUVs by 2024 and surpassing market leader Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) in the process.
To achieve that lofty ambition, Ford is investing $11.4 billion to construct its biggest ever factory in Tennessee and two plants to develop batteries that will be based in Kentucky. Taken together, those three production facilities will create 11,000 new well-paying jobs.
Ford chief executive officer (CEO) Jim Farley has said that Ford aims to have half of all the vehicles it manufactures be fully electric by 2030. “We are moving now to deliver breakthrough electric vehicles for the many rather than the few,” said Farley earlier this fall.
To that end, Ford is ramping up production of its Mustang Mach-E, an electric version of its long running and hugely popular Mustang muscle car. The Mach-E has gotten strong reviews and sold incredibly well. So well, that Ford has announced that it is tripling its production of the Mach-E at its manufacturing facility in Mexico. Additionally, Farley said recently that demand for the soon-to-be-released F-150 Lightning pick-up truck is so great that the automaker had to stop taking preorders for it. The F-150 Lightning is scheduled to go into production in the spring, and Ford stopped taking reservations for the new vehicle after reaching 200,000 preorders. Due to the overwhelming demand, Ford announced plans to double production of the F-150 Lightning to 80,000 trucks annually.
Earnings and Analyst Upgrades
F stock got a big lift at the end of October when the company reported third-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street expectations across the board.
The automaker reported earnings per share (EPS) of 51 cents, which was nearly double the 27 cents per share that analysts had forecast. Revenues in Q3 came in at $33.21 billion, which was slightly below the $32.54 billion that was anticipated. Ford also announced new full-year adjusted earnings guidance of between $10.5 billion and $11.5 billion, which was up from $9 billion to $10 billion previously. The earnings beat and upwardly revised guidance sent Ford’s stock 9% higher in after hours trading on the day they were announced.
The strong earnings and outlook also led a slew of analysts who follow the company to revise up their targets on F stock.
Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), for example, maintained an “overweight” rating on Ford shares and raised its price target on the stock to $25 from $19. Similarly, Barclays (NYSE:BCS) reiterated an “overweight” rating on Ford shares and hiked its price target to $23 from $18 previously. Wells Fargo said that Ford’s production is likely to grow 9% globally in 2022 compared to 2021, with its North American production growth coming in at 16% next year. These analyst upgrades reflect generally positive sentiment around Ford and its near to medium-term outlook. The median price target on Ford stock now sits at $20 per share.
Ride The Momentum In F Stock
Ford is one of the best turnaround stories in corporate America right now.
The automaker’s long gestating reinvention has come to fruition as the company has successfully recast itself as a leading electric vehicle manufacturer. With demand surging for its Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning vehicles, major investments being made in its manufacturing capabilities, and the right management in place under CEO Jim Farley, Ford appears to now be firing on all cylinders.
With its share price unlikely to remain around $20 for long, investors should act now and take a position. F stock is a buy.
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.