AP News

Barclays downgrades rating on Ford


Barclays analyst Brian Johnson lowered his rating on Ford Motor Co. on Friday, the second industry analyst in recent days to downgrade the auto maker ahead of its quarterly earnings report.

THE OPINION: The analyst said Ford is has a great product, strong management team and solid execution. But with a recent run-up in Ford's stock price, the company's shares are now at a 19-month high and are fairly valued in his eyes.

He lowered his rating on the stock to "equal weight" from "overweight" while maintaining a $15 price target and earnings estimates.

Johnston said there also appears to be a disconnect between the company's conservative guidance on margins and investor's increasingly optimistic expectations for dramatic margin expansion.

This follows a downgrade by a Deutsche Bank analyst on Tuesday

Ford is expected to report its quarterly earnings on Tuesday.

THE STOCK: Ford's shares fell 19 cents to close at $13.68 Friday. Its shares value has increased by about 50 percent in the past six months.


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