Can Ford ever get it together?
That was the question Cramer was asking on Friday’s “Mad Money.” Some think the U.S. automaker has lost its mojo and won’t probably get it back. Cramer disagrees with that notion, though. He thinks that it simply overpromised and under-delivered.
To Cramer, the company should have pre-announced a shortfall as soon as the year was over because business declined sharply in Europe due to the economic crisis. It also declined in Asia due to the Thai flooding. The flood was unforeseeable, but everybody expected a decline in Europe, so Cramer thinks the company should have been a little bit more on the ball. The company also got beat up on commodity costs that rose sharply and it had no way of passing it onto the consumer.
“I know this is going to sound like optics but I think the biggest issue Ford faces is tempering the enthusiasm of its supporters by guiding down sharply to a level that is more realistic and can be beaten,” Cramer said. “When you know that commodity costs haven’t come down going into 2012, when you know that Europe’s getting increasingly gloomy, this is the chance to reset the bar and tell analysts to take down estimates to a level that is far below what they think the company can earn.”
The company should just say it can do as well as it would like until Europe improves, Cramer said. The auto industry is going gangbusters lately and Ford has confirmed the domestic build could be as high as 14.5 million cars, but company executives just haven’t figured out how to under promise and over deliver.
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