Ford ‘s (NYSE: F) stock had a rough 2018, but the Blue Oval’s shares began 2019 with a bang. According to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence , Ford’s share price rose 15% in January.
To some extent, Ford’s January rise can be explained as a partial rebound after a big sell-off in December . But while Ford’s share price is still quite low, there’s a growing sense among investors that CEO Jim Hackett may finally have the company headed in the right direction.
The all-new Explorer is one of several new Fords set to arrive in 2019. Image source: Ford.
If we set aside 2014’s result, when Ford spent nearly $2 billion to launch its all-new F-150 pickup, Ford’s adjusted earnings per share in 2018 were lower than at any time since 2009. Data source: Ford.
Now, in 2019, Ford will begin executing on those plans, while continuing with its effort to boost profitability in North America and beginning work on a revamp of its business in South America. Ford will also launch several new products this year, including all-new versions of the big-selling Explorer and Escape, that are expected to boost its transaction prices and margins.
Simply put, after a year of struggles, Ford investors now have a good idea of where the company is headed — and there’s a lot to like about the plan.
CFO Bob Shanks made it clear that some of those external headwinds, like Brexit, will still be a factor in 2019. That’s why Ford’s guidance for the year is deliberately vague : Ford can’t yet say how much improvement it’ll see by the end of 2019, but it’s now confident that things are on the right track.
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