General Motors is a better car company than Ford Motor these days. The tougher question is which is the better stock to own.
Today’s semiconductor shortage is far from over, but the initial damage assessments given by the companies themselves suggest that GM is managing the latest disruptions far more skillfully than Ford. GM said Wednesday that it expects full-year adjusted operating profits to come in at the higher end of the range of $10 billion to $11 billion it gave when it last reported results three months ago. Ford last week downgraded its own forecast for operating profit based on second-quarter production running at half the planned level.
For Ford investors, the pattern is frustratingly familiar. Last year, GM made far more profit than its closest peer despite reporting lower revenue. And this year’s chip crisis has the capacity to shift market shares in a way last year’s industrywide shutdowns didn’t. Those companies that have more dynamic processes for redirecting components where they count most, or finished products where they are really needed, will be able to sell more vehicles.
Whenever an obstacle has appeared in car makers’ path in recent years, GM has slipped past while Ford has crashed into it. It is tempting, albeit speculative, to trace the differences back to the financial crisis, when Ford performed better than its Detroit peers. Perhaps that encouraged complacency, even as near-death experiences led to operational renewal at GM under Chief Executive Mary Barra and at Chrysler, first under Fiat and now the trans-Atlantic family of brands known as Stellantis .
Whether stock pickers should continue to favor GM is another matter. After a long period during which its outperformance and forward-thinking approach to electric vehicles went unnoticed or unvalued, investors have embraced the stock. It now trades at almost 10 times forward earnings, the highest since its postbankruptcy initial public offering in 2010, excluding a brief period of depressed profit expectations last spring. Relative to forecast sales, its valuation is almost double that of Ford or Stellantis.
GM Shows Up Ford – WSJ Source link GM Shows Up Ford – WSJ