On Wednesday, Ford landed on the trader radar after the auto maker traded down to its lowest levels since 2009.
Largely the selling was triggered by an announcement in which Ford said, it is doubling its forecast for European losses to more than $1 billion dollars.
And with overseas nations in the throws of a financial crisis, some investors worry that Europe losses could deteriorate further.
But as concerning as those developments sound, top Sterne Agee auto analyst Michael Ward cautions investors not to get too negative.
He tells us there’s an important metric that’s going largely unnoticed. “European operations historically have not been profitable (at Ford),” he says
And he adds that Europe is a much smaller part of Ford’s business than the Street realizes. What matters is North America and in North America Ford is kicking it.
“In North America this year Ford will make 8 billion,” he adds. “Even if Europe loses $1 billion it’s still a very profitable company going forward.”
And in addition, Ward sees another catalyst “At some point I think they increase returns to shareholders – I think it happens in the next 6-12 months.”
Ward has a buy rating on Ford with a $15 price target. “Strong North America performance and a returning cash to shareholders,” are two good reasons to buy.