Despite a 34% drop in first quarter net income, shares of Ford Motor rose above the $10 mark for the first time since August 2018. Valued at $41.5 billion, the automaker’s stock surged past $10 on Friday clocking its best performance since 2009. Ford’s adjusted profit for the quarter stood at 44 cents per share, beating an estimate of 27 cents per share.
However, the automaker, despite its success in North America, is still struggling in overseas markets like Europe, South America, and especially China.
To address these issues, Ford is shifting away from sedans to trucks, a risky bet that has so far paid off for investors. New cars are hitting the market, with the latest one being the revival of the long-struggling Lincoln brand as well as the big Aviator that was launched early 2019.
In China, Ford’s sales plunged by 40% last year, but even there Ford has been trying to push for a truck-based line-up. Latin America is another troubled market where the automaker is cutting costs as a way towards profit-making. In February, Ford announced its plans to close San Bernardo plant in Brazil that the automaker deemed unsustainable with only 11 trucks per employee.
Even here in the US, there’s lot to do. Ford has decided to focus on the light truck market, and has also invested $500 million in the electric start-up Rivian and $1 billion in Argo AI to ramp up its self-driving technology.
While Ford’s stock has risen 36% since the beginning of 2019, it is still early comment how the automaker’s balance sheet will look like in near future. Still, investors are still betting on Ford even though U.S. new vehicle market is gradually weakening.