September 18, 2006
Merrill Lynch downgrades Ford from Neutral to Sell
New York, New York – Merrill Lynch has downgraded its rating on Ford’s equity from Neutral to Sell, due to its belief that the details of the company’s accelerated “Way Forward” turnaround plan fall below expectations, according to a report released by industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers.
The report says that, “We believe the details of the new Way Forward plan are light relative to market expectations. The incremental restructuring actions are focused on an expanded buyout program, but do not address many other levers that the bulls had anticipated.” Merrill Lynch says it will be “extremely difficult” for Ford to reach its stated goal of profitability for North American operations in 2008, and that the company confirmed that it does not expect profits before 2009.
Merrill Lynch also states that the plan does not address losses at Jaguar, or materially accelerate product introductions.