Ford Stock Hammered Again After Downgrade

It's been a dreadful year to auto stocks

by Josh Selway

Published on Oct 19, 2018 at 10:46 AM

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is trading down 1.4% at $8.40, earlier hitting a nearly nine-year low of $8.19, after Morgan Stanley downgraded the automaker to "equal weight" from "overweight" and dropped its price target to $10 from $14. The brokerage firm cited uncertainty around the company's restructuring process and suggested the stock's dividend was at risk.

This just extend F shares' downtrend that's essentially been in place since the second half of 2014. This year the equity has dropped almost 32%, shedding 20% in the past three months alone. Most analysts have already accounted for this weakness, with eight of 12 in coverage handing out "hold" recommendations, but now one may wonder if even those four bullish holdouts could soon ditch the underperformer -- especially with earnings right around the corner, due out after the close on Wednesday, Oct. 24.

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) received some bearish attention of its own, with J.P. Morgan Securities cutting its price target to $48 from $54 -- though this still represents record-high territory for the shares. This comes just two days after Morgan Stanley cut its price target on GM to $43 over concerns about the company's exposure to China.

While the security was last seen trading slightly higher at $31.24, it hit a new low of its own earlier at $30.57, bringing its three-month decline to 20.5%. Some option bulls have express long-term confidence in the stock, however.

Finally, Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE:HOG) is down 1.5% and just hit a fresh two-year low of $38.74, after BMO downgraded the motorcycle titan to "market perform" from "outperform" and lowered its price target to $45. Year-to-date, the shares have given back 22%, and short sellers keep moving in, with more than 9% of the total float now sold short.

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