About a month ago, the rally with Ford (NYSE:F) shares came to a screeching halt. In the week since, instead of charging to new multi-decade highs, F stock has gone in reverse. After soaring to as much as $25.87 per share, it’s now back down to around $17 per share.
You can blame much of its pullback to what’s playing out today in the market. Near-term uncertainties have put pressure on stocks as-a-whole. In addition, with investors now more risk-averse, enthusiasm for “hot” sectors like electric vehicles (EVs) has cooled a bit.
Admittedly though, company-related uncertainties have played a role as well. Falling short of estimates when it reported quarterly results earlier this month, this disappointing news has had a negative impact on shares.
This could carry on in the months ahead. After a turbo-charged rally through the second half of last year, shares may find themselves rangebound for the time being. However, don’t take to this mean “the party’s over” for this “old school” automaker. It may take a while, but expect it to ultimately rev up once again.
F Stock and Its Recent Earnings Report
In terms of Ford and recent developments, the one that’s been most material lately has been its quarterly earnings results for the December quarter (Q4 2021). As I mentioned above, the company fell short of expectations, with both revenue and earnings.
Total revenue for the fourth quarter came in at $37.7 billion, which was below sell-side estimates of $41.2 billion. Earnings of 26 cents per share came in well below estimates calling for 45 cents per share. What caused this earnings miss? The chip shortage, of course, played a role. But the emergence of the omicron variant late last year also affected results. This latest coronavirus variant caused further supply disruptions, affecting vehicle production.
Despite the disappointing results for Q4 2021, plus caution from the company that supply chain issues will continue during this year, Ford’s latest outlook for the year is optimistic. It expects a moderate increase in adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), from $10 billion to between $11.5 billion and $12.5 billion.
Most importantly, the company keeps on charging along with its vehicle electrification plans. Supply chain uncertainties, along with the market’s overall uncertainties, may mean choppy performance for F stock for now. Yet as it keeps hitting new milestones in its goal of increasing the share of its product mix that’s battery electric to 40%?
It’s still a name worth holding for the long haul.
Long Term Outlook Remains Strong
Ford’s management has little control over the company’s current challenges. When it comes to supply chain headwinds (mostly, the global chip shortage), all it can do is ride things out.
But when it comes to something it does have a degree of control over?
Its leadership team is making all the right moves. The automaker is successfully executing its game plan to go from being primarily a maker of gas-powered vehicles, to a company that makes a mix of internal combustion engine (ICE) and battery electric cars, trucks, and SUVs.
First, with the successful launch of the Mustang Mach E SUV, as well as the E-Transit commercial van. Now, with the upcoming launch of its much-awaited F-150 Lightning electric pickup. Between its three EV offerings, the company has locked down a total of 275,000 orders and/or reservations. It’s clear that it wasn’t mere hype that drove F stock to higher prices from October through January. Ford has what it takes to compete with the early movers in this space.
Its EV-related sales will help move the needle this year. As the years progress, they’ll play an even more important role in helping the automaker continue to report robust sales, and higher earnings. Successfully capitalizing on the electric vehicle trend, its long-term outlook more than outweighs any near-term hiccups.
Bottom Line on F Stock
Earning a “B” rating in my Portfolio Grader, I’ll say again that it may be a while before investors hit the accelerator with its shares once more. Unlike last year, the market is taking more of a “show me” approach when it comes to EV plays.
Even so, that doesn’t mean you need to wait to buy it, if you’re looking to portfolio exposure to this trend. With what it’s achieved so far with its electric vehicle unit, it has already demonstrated it has a strong chance of staying a major name in the automotive space, as that industry adapts to a more electric future. This points to strong results once supply chain headwinds pass. In turn, a move to higher prices.
As its long-term outlook remains promising, F stock is still one of the best ways to play the vehicle electrification trend.
On the date of publication, Louis Navellier had a long position in F. Louis Navellier did not have (either directly or indirectly) any other positions in the securities mentioned in this article. InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
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