Ford’s  (F) – Get Report new management and better than expected third-quarter earnings will provide a near-term catalyst for the auto-making giant, according to a Benchmark analyst, who upgraded the company to buy from hold.

Analyst Michael Ward also introduced a price target of $10 a share, which is 38% above Friday’s closing price of $7.25.

Shares of the Dearborn, Mich., company were up nearly 1% to $7.32 in premarket trading.

“Better-than-expected North American production, a positive shift in mix, and improving metrics in the auto-credit markets … are the primary drivers for better- than-expected earnings performance in the third quarter,” Ward said in a note to investors.

In addition, Ward said, “demand in China has been better than expected and expansion of the Lincoln brand should be a plus for Ford.”

In 2019, Ford produced 700,000 F-150 trucks in North America and another 350,000 Super Duty pickups, which Ward estimated accounted for about $40 billion of annual revenue.

“The conversion of two plants (Michigan and Hermosillo) from car production to trucks by the end of 2021, by our estimates, will lead to additional increases in truck mix,” he said.

Ward noted that Jim Farley took over as chief executive in October, and among his first moves was to appoint John Lawler as chief financial officer.

“Both Farley and Lawler, in our opinion, will be perceived as significant upgrades by the investment community and both are viewed positively with the Ford organization,” Ward said.

The analyst said that “the management changes along with new product momentum and the benefits of cost improvement actions, in our opinion, are positive variables for the stock.”

Ford is scheduled to report third-quarter results on Oct. 28.

Henry Ford Health System announced Friday it will raise the minimum wage for most of its lowest-paid workers to $15 an hour. 



a car parked on the side of a road: Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital valet employee Kenneth Douglas, 31, of West Bloomfield, runs back to the main entrance after parking a car on Oct. 8, 2020. Douglas said a pay increase may relieve him of having to hold two jobs to make ends meet.


© Mandi Wright, Detroit Free Press
Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital valet employee Kenneth Douglas, 31, of West Bloomfield, runs back to the main entrance after parking a car on Oct. 8, 2020. Douglas said a pay increase may relieve him of having to hold two jobs to make ends meet.

The increase takes effect Sunday, and will boost the pay of more than 3,000 employees in at least 100 different types of benefits-eligible jobs, including food service workers, environmental services staff andnurse assistants, among others.

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Michigan’s minimum wage is $9.65 an hour.

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The pay increase is expected to cost the health system about $6 million annually, and is part of a multi-phase plan that is expected to include a general increase for other employees later this year.

“Our core mission is to improve people’s lives,” said Henry Ford President and CEO Wright Lassiter III. “We know that across so many sectors of our country, where you have team members who have who have hourly wage levels that may not provide them with a sense of economic security and prosperity as we all would want for our own family members, loved ones, etc., that organization needs to think about stepping up to make that kind of investment in their team members.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Henry Ford CEO Wright Lassiter III speaking at the new sports medicine center in the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center Wednesday September 18, 2019 in Detroit Michigan.


© Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press
Henry Ford CEO Wright Lassiter III speaking at the new sports medicine center in the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center Wednesday September 18, 2019 in Detroit Michigan.

“While we can’t assert that raising the wage to $15 as the minimum standard for

The Ford Foundation announced $180 million in new grant funding for U.S. racial justice and civil rights groups, the organizations large and small who are doing essential work to address systemic racism and support full democratic inclusion. This latest funding doubles the Foundation’s existing commitments in the civil justice arena to $330 million.



Darren Walker wearing a hat


© Michael Loccisano—Getty Images


This latest allocation has been made possible by a deft use of capital markets—unprecedented in philanthropic history. In June, the Foundation announced its plan to borrow $1 billion in social bonds to increase its grant-giving capacity at a time when mission-critical organizations large and small are losing revenue due to the coronavirus.

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“What was creative was figuring out a way to increase our giving while not diminishing the current value of our endowment,” Ford Foundation president Darren Walker tells Fortune.

He recalls the time in March and April when the Foundation was facing a confluence of issues, including a “very choppy” market: “I’m sitting in my apartment in New York watching the panic in the market and in what was happening in the nonprofit sector. So many nonprofits canceling their fundraisers, canceling their fees, and pulling back on their programs. Panic in the sector. So we knew we needed to step up.”

The IRS requires philanthropies to pay out five percent of their endowment, which may be acceptable in good times. “The problem is there is the inverse relationship between returns and need,” says Walker. “When the market’s going down, it’s usually when these needs are going up.”

Not to mention, the endowment itself. Ford’s endowment, currently $13.7 billion, lost $3 billion in the volatility of 2008. “We were paying out five percent of a much smaller denominator,” he says.

The breakthrough came from the Federal Reserve. 

“Fortunately, [Federal Reserve] chairman

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – October 7, 2020 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include General Motors GM, Ford F, Fiat Chrysler FCAU, Tesla TSLA and Honda HMC.

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Big 3 Detroit Automakers in Focus: How Have They Fared?

After plunging the most in the second quarter since the Great Recession, the U.S. auto industry gathered momentum in the third quarter, with sales rebounding from coronavirus-led lows and buyers returning to showrooms. Sales growth for September marked the first monthly rise since February. Unless there is a spike in coronavirus cases, which will trigger another round of lockdown and send vehicle deliveries into a tailspin, auto sales in the United States are likely to gain traction going forward. Increasing consumer confidence, declining unemployment rate and Fed’s efforts to support the economy bode well for the auto industry, which is highly cyclical in nature.

Amid the improving landscape, let’s take a look at how the Big 3 automakers namely General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler are currently faring. General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler are three of the oldest auto firms dated 1908, 1903 and 1925, respectively. While relatively new auto firms including Tesla are surely beefing up competition, especially in the electric vehicle space, these three legacy automakers have certainly stood the test of time and remain trusted picks for investors and consumers alike. While Fiat Chrysler currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), General Motors and Ford carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and 3 (Hold), respectively. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here

Auto makers, pumping billions of dollars into developing electric cars, are now facing a critical choice: get more involved with manufacturing the core batteries or buy them from others.

Batteries are one of an electric vehicle’s most expensive components, accounting for between a quarter and a third of the car’s value. Driving down their cost is key to profitability, executives say.

But whereas the internal combustion engine traditionally has been engineered and built by auto makers themselves, battery production for electric cars is dominated by Asian electronics and chemical firms, such as LG Chem Ltd. and Panasonic Corp., and newcomers like China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co.

With regulators world-wide pushing car companies to sell more electric cars, auto executives worry there won’t be enough factories building high-quality batteries.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
F FORD MOTOR COMPANY 6.89 +0.14 +2.07%
GM GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY 30.46 +0.08 +0.26%
TSLA TESLA INC. 415.09 -33.07 -7.38%

California, the U.S.’s largest car market, said last month it would end the sale of new gasoline- and diesel-powered passenger cars by 2035, putting pressure on the auto industry to accelerate its shift to electric vehicles.

The race to lock in supplies for electric cars has auto makers taking varied paths.

While most make the battery pack, a large metal enclosure often lining the bottom of the car, they also need the cells that are bundled together to form the core electricity storage.

Tesla several years ago opened its Gigafactory in Nevada to make batteries with Panasonic, which in the shared space would produce cells for the packs. The electric-car maker wanted to secure production specifically for its own models and lower manufacturing and logistics costs.

Now it is looking to in-source more