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Insider Weekends: Bill Ford Jr. Purchases $8.5 Million Worth Of Ford Stock

  • December 18, 2021

When looking the investment landscape early last year when the COVID-19 pandemic started unfolding around us and even earlier this year, little did I anticipate that some of the biggest gainers this year would be auto stocks. I was more focused on companies like Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) that were positioned to do well if we saw sector or style rotation as discussed in this Twitter thread. Auto manufacturers have had a great year, benefiting from a combination of,

  • increased demand from consumers flush with cash, as you can see from the following M2 money supply chart
  • higher prices for both used and new cars
  • historically low interest rates and lax lending standards

The biggest beneficiary of these trends this year has been Ford (F), which has seen its stock shoot up nearly 125% this year as you can see from the chart below. The company’s all electric Ford Mach-E has been a big hit and is benefiting from the fact that Ford electric vehicles are still eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit. When I was considering a second electric vehicle earlier this year to replace an old gas guzzler, the Mach-E was near the top of my list and the wait time then was more than 3 months. It looks like the wait time has now increased to 20+ weeks and the Premium and GT models now have a wait time of 28+ weeks. This increase in wait time is interesting considering the company indicated during its third quarter 2021 earnings call that it has seen a significant increase in semiconductor availability. The much anticipated electric F-150 truck is expected to launch in Spring 2022.

The company saw a big increase in its operating cash flow in Q3 to $7.7 billion, reinstated its quarterly dividend at 10 cents a share and raised its full year guidance to between $10.5 billion and $11.5 billion in operating earnings. The stock trades at a forward 2022 P/E of 10 and a forward EV/EBITDA of 15. Investors that may get turned off by the large net debt on Ford’s balance sheet should consider that a majority of it is from its financing arm. The company’s financing division has $122.52 billion of debt and liabilities partially offset by $106.37 billions of loans and leases. Ford has $25.62 billion in other debt that is more than offset by $31.42 billion of cash and short-term investments. The quality of the underwriting in its financing division is a key risk given the size of their liabilities.

 

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