Ford Motor Co (F) said last week that the temporary suspension of vehicle and engine production at the majority of its manufacturing facilities across Europe would now continue until at least May 4th.
Ford shares closed lower for a seventh consecutive trading session in New York on Friday. The stock went down 2.75% ($0.12) to $4.24, after touching an intraday low at $4.17, or a price level not seen since March 23rd ($3.96).
Shares of Ford Motor Company have retreated 54.41% so far in 2020 compared with a 22.97% loss for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).
In 2019, Ford Motor Co’s stock went up 21.57%, thus, it again underperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 28.88% gain.
Ford had previously announced a temporary production suspension from March 19th for a number of weeks at key manufacturing facilities in continental Europe such as sites in Saarlouis and Cologne (Germany), Valencia (Spain) and Craiova (Romania).
Production has also been discontinued from March 23rd at Ford’s engine factories in Bridgend and Dagenham, UK.
On the other hand, Ford’s operations in Valencia are expected to be suspended until at least April 27th, the company said.
The US auto maker’s production resumption plans are mostly dependent on the COVID-19 situation during the coming weeks, the national restrictions in operation at the time, the constraints that suppliers face and the ability of Ford’s dealer network to operate.
“It’s important we give our employees as much clarity as possible on how long the present situation is likely to continue,” Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe, was quoted as saying by Automotive World.
“We are hopeful the situation will improve in the coming month; our plans to restart operations, however, will continue to be informed by prevailing conditions and guidance of national governments,” Rowley added.
Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation
According to CNN Money, the 14 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Ford Motor Company’s stock price, have a median target of $6.00, with a high estimate of $10.00 and a low estimate of $3.50. The median estimate represents a 41.51% upside compared to the closing price of $4.24 on April 3rd.
The same media also reported that at least 12 out of 18 surveyed investment analysts had rated Ford Motor Company’s stock as “Hold”, while 4 – as “Buy”. On the other hand, 2 analysts had recommended selling the stock.