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Vivek Kumar
The emblem Ford on the office of official dealer

Ford Motor Company, an American multinational automaker that has its main headquarters in Michigan, has signed a deal with Vodafone Group Plc to install a fifth-generation technology network at its electrified powertrain facility in Essex, both the companies said in a joint statement on Thursday.

This will be the part of a 65-million-pounds or around 80-million-dollar investment in the fifth-generation technology network (5G) supported by the British government. This deal will replace current Wi-Fi networks to quicken the production of electric vehicles.

Chris White, Ford’s 5GEM project lead said: “Connecting today’s shop floor requires significant time and investment. Present technology can be the limiting factor in reconfiguring and deploying next-gen manufacturing systems. 5G presents the opportunity to transform the speed of launch and flexibility of present manufacturing facilities, moving us towards tomorrow’s plants connected to remote expert support and artificial intelligence.”

Vinod Kumar, CEO of Vodafone Business, said: “5G mobile private networks act as a springboard for organisations, allowing them to rethink the way they do business. In this case, MPN technology makes the factory of the future possible. It allows machines and computing power to coordinate in real-time, improving precision, efficiency and safety. We’re excited to help Ford plan for the future of its business.”

Ford outlook and price target

Eleven analysts forecast the average price in 12 months at $6.19 with a high forecast of $8.00 and a low forecast of $3.50. The average price target represents a 4.03% increase from the last price of $5.95, according to Tipranks. From that eleven, three analysts rated ‘Buy’, six rated ‘Hold’ and two rated ‘Sell’.

Morgan Stanley raised price target to $8 from $7. Ford Motor was given a $7.50 price target by analysts at Jefferies Financial Group Inc. The firm currently has a buy rating on the stock. JP Morgan raises target price to $7 from $6. Goldman Sachs raises target price to $7. Evercore ISI raises price target to $5 from $3.5.

On the other hand, it is good to sell at the current level as 50-day Moving Average and 100-200-day MACD Oscillator signals a strong selling opportunity.

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Analysts’ comments

“We have marked-to-market our Ford earnings assumptions to account for what we expect to be a surprising level of pricing and mix for the remainder of 2020, driving an early EPS upgrade and our target to $8. Reiterate Overweight,” noted Adam Jonas, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“Longer term, we remain extremely focused on the VW partnership, as we view this evolving relationship as arguably the #1 driver of Ford’s ability to improve efficiency, reduce waste and successfully pivot from ICE to EV. While investors may not see deep significance here, we believe these three areas are defining vectors of innovation and competitive strength as the industry transitions to Auto 2.0 and can make the difference between Ford having a cost of capital of greater than 20% or <10%,” he added.

John Butters, senior earnings analyst at FactSet in his June 19 note wrote, “despite the decline in expected earnings, this sector has witnessed the second-largest increase in price (+31.7%) of all eleven sectors since March 31.”

“However, Ford Motor (to -$1.25 from -$0.31), Amazon.com (to $1.39 from $6.14), General Motors, and Carnival have been the largest contributors to the decrease in expected earnings for this sector since March 31.”

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