A difficult macroeconomic environment could dampen the excitement around legacy U.S. automakers, according to Jefferies. Analyst Philippe Houchois cut price targets for Ford and General Motors , saying in a note to clients Monday that inflation concerns and the war in Europe could hurt consumer spending on high-ticket items. Jefferies cut Ford's price target to $18 per share from $20, which is 12% above where the stock closed on Friday. The company's exposure to Europe could be a pressure point for the stock, Houchois wrote. "US exposure clearly dominates the earnings profile, but we take a more cautious view on Ford's recovery in Europe. During the conference we learned that Europe accounts for a bigger contribution than we expected to FordPro globally," Houchois wrote. In the case of GM, Jefferies lowered its target to $44 per share from $53 and said the company had little room for fundamental improvement in the near term. That target is about 6% above where the stock closed on Friday. "Despite what looks like a healthy start to 2022, we continue to see GM having weaker operating levers than either Ford and Stellantis this given already high margin and a subdued product cycle," the note said. — CNBC's Michael Bloom contributed to this report.
Ford Motor Co. signage at the Washington Auto Show in Washington, D.C., Jan. 21, 2022.
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A difficult macroeconomic environment could dampen the excitement around legacy U.S. automakers, according to Jefferies.