Ford Motor Co. (F) reported that overall U.S. first-quarter car sales dropped 12.5% compared with the same period last year as the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic forced many states to implement stay-at-home orders and showrooms remain closed.
Ford said overall inventory levels remain in good shape during a period of lower production and industry sales. In the first three months of the year, sales of Ford’s F-Series pickup were hardest hit by the coronavirus-related government orders. Sales of America’s best-selling vehicle for decades declined 13.1% in the quarter. While sales of Ford’s new 2020 Ford Explorer SUV bucked this downward trend in the quarter posting a sales increase of 10.5%.
On Friday, Wall Street analyst Rod Lache at Wolfe Research lowered Ford’s rating to Hold from Buy. Overall, the analyst community has a Hold consensus rating on the stock based on 8 Holds, 2 Buys and 2 Sells. The $7.06 average price target implies 67% upside potential in the coming year. (See Ford’s stock analysis on TipRanks)
Separately Ford said over the weekend that it will extend the temporary suspension of vehicle and engine production at most of its European manufacturing sites at least until May 4.
“Ford’s production restart plans depend heavily on the pandemic situation in the weeks ahead, national restrictions in operation at the time, supplier constraints and the ability of our dealer network to operate,” the company said in a statement.
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