) to neutral from reduce.
Analyst Saul Rubin says the market has become unduly pessimistic about Ford's near-term outlook. He does not agree with the view held by some that Ford could go bankrupt in the near future; Rubin says Ford simply does not have the sufficient balance sheet weakness to support this view. He also notes the company has several automotive assets that could be sold. Rubin thinks the sentiment pendulum has swung too far, too fast, based on recent negative news. He sees 35 cents 2003 earnings per share, and 40 cents for 2004.