Why Ford’s stock is surging while GM shares are flat after Q3 earnings

The Normal Motors world headquarters workplace is seen at Detroit’s Renaissance Middle.

Paul Hennessy | LightRocket | Getty Photographs

DETROIT – Each Ford Motor and Normal Motors beat Wall Avenue’s expectations for the third quarter however shares of GM are flat as Ford’s inventory surged to a brand new 52-week excessive throughout buying and selling Thursday morning.

On the floor, outcomes for each automakers have been related. They simply beat the earnings consensus from analysts and barely topped income expectations. In addition they each partially raised 2021 steering. However wanting deeper into the outcomes and feedback from executives, Ford made higher progress and painted a extra optimistic outlook than GM, in response to analysts.

The outcomes pushed Ford’s shares up by as a lot as 13% to $17.58 a share throughout buying and selling Thursday. That compares with GM’s fill up by as a lot as 2.4% to $55.58 a share. GM’s market cap is about $80 billion in contrast with Ford’s at $66 billion.

The variations between the third-quarter earnings studies ranged from outlooks on earnings and the continuing scarcity of semiconductor chips to their autonomous automobile companies and inventory dividends.

Here is extra on these subjects and others following the Wednesday earnings outcomes from America’s two largest automakers.


Ford beat Wall Avenue’s estimates greater than GM did. It additionally reported a smaller decline in web revenue than a 12 months earlier, when customers flocked to dealerships after the easing of lockdowns and shops reopening after closing because of the coronavirus pandemic.  

Ford reported adjusted earnings per share of 51 cents versus 27 cents anticipated based mostly on common analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv. Its automotive income was $33.21 billion versus expectations of $32.54 billion. Its web revenue for the quarter was $1.8 billion, down 25% from a 12 months earlier.

GM reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.52 versus 96 cents anticipated from Refinitiv. Its income was $26.78 billion versus $26.51 billion anticipated. Its web revenue for the quarter was $2.4 billion, down by 40% in contrast with a 12 months earlier.

“Yesterday’s giant unfavourable market response to GM’s strong 3Q however unchanged 2021 outlook, in our view, mirrored some disappointment that GM did not increase its steering amid enhancing business circumstances, and investor issues that the smooth implied 4Q Ebit represents a low exit price going into 2022,” Deutsche Financial institution analyst Emmanuel Rosner wrote Thursday in an investor observe.


Ford elevated its full-year adjusted earnings steering to between $10.5 billion and $11.5 billion, up from between $9 billion and $10 billion. That compares with GM that maintained its earnings steering of between $11.5 billion and $13.5 billion however raised expectations for earnings per share to $5.70 to $6.70, up from $5.40 to $6.40 a share.

Ford additionally maintained its adjusted free money circulation outlook for the 12 months of between $4 billion and $5 billion, whereas GM minimize its to about $1 billion, down from $1 billion to $2 billion. The decline is because of spending to complete autos that have been beforehand constructed with out chips, officers stated.

“That is lower than what Tesla generated in 3Q alone. Whereas GM FCF is hit exhausting by working capital this 12 months, one must step again and respect that 2021 is an traditionally robust 12 months for the business when it comes to value, combine and price,” Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas wrote Wednesday in an investor observe.

Assuming GM delivers fourth-quarter earnings close to the excessive finish of its forecast, that will suggest its earnings earlier than curiosity and taxes, a key efficiency measure, would be round $2 billion as an alternative of the $2.6 billion Wall Avenue hoped to see, Credit score Suisse analyst Dan Levy stated Wednesday in an investor observe.

Levy described Ford’s name in a separate observe as “probably the most bullish” from the automaker in a very long time.

Chip provide

Ford’s rosier outlook was instantly tied to semiconductor chips, which have been in brief provide all through this 12 months. The components situation has boosted earnings however induced record-low automobile inventories and automakers to sporadically shutter vegetation.

Ford’s chip provide within the third quarter vastly improved in contrast with the corporate dropping practically half of its anticipated automobile manufacturing within the second quarter. That compares with GM, which pulled up chip availability from the third quarter to the second quarter. The choices helped second-quarter outcomes, however the automaker stated it anticipated to lose about 200,000 wholesale items in North America through the again half of the 12 months in contrast with the primary six months.

Barclays analyst Brian Johnson famous that whereas Ford’s provide was higher within the third quarter, GM nonetheless leads in revenue margins in the event you mix the previous two quarters.

“Combining the 2 quarters, Ford would have a 6.7% EBIT margin whereas GM would have a ten.6% EBIT margin (professional forma adjusting out all Bolt recall prices and recoveries) – exhibiting that GM continues to be forward on execution,” he stated Thursday in an investor observe.


Analysts appear to be extra bullish on Ford’s plans to monetize its Argo AI autonomous automobile enterprise via a possible spinoff than GM’s plans – for now – to maintain its Cruise operations in-house.

“Ford seems able to monetize Argo, whereas GM stresses vertical integration between Cruise and GM,” Johnson stated, calling it a “significant catalyst” for Ford.

In its presentation to traders, Ford famous that executives “absolutely help Argo AI’s entry to public financing.” That compares with GM CEO Mary Barra telling traders Wednesday that the corporate views vertical integration as “a key differentiator” for its majority-owned subsidiary.


Each Ford and GM suspended their dividends to shore up money final spring because the pandemic shuttered factories and dealerships

Ford on Wednesday stated it should reinstate its common dividend beginning within the fourth quarter at 10 cents per share on excellent widespread and Class B inventory. The funds can be made on Dec. 1 to shareholders as of Nov. 19. The quarterly dividend is predicted to value about $400 million, in response to Ford CFO John Lawler.

GM was mum Wednesday on its reinstatement of the dividend. GM CFO Paul Jacobson earlier this month instructed traders that the corporate would reinstate the dividend when the market turns into extra steady.

Lawler attributed Ford’s dividend reinstatement to the power of the corporate’s underlying enterprise. He stated Ford shouldn’t be capital constrained and is assured it could possibly finance an aggressive turnaround plan, which it calls Ford+. The plan consists of investing billions in electrical and autonomous autos in addition to paying the dividend.

The scale and timing of the dividend reinstatement was stunning to many analysts. BofA Securities analyst John Murphy referred to as Ford’s dividend reinstatement “preemptive” given the present volatility within the automotive market. He in addition to different analysts additionally famous the necessity for Ford to put money into its turnaround plan.

Some analysts anticipated Ford’s dividend to be reinstated in 2022 at about half the distribution quantity, however traders appear to help the transfer, which Barclays’ Johnson referred to as “a optimistic for a few of its investor base.”

– CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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