March 14, 2018 / 9:18 AM / 9 months ago

BUZZ-Ford Motor: Top-rated MS analyst double upgrades to "overweight"

** Ford Motor Co shares up 4 pct in early premarket trade after Morgan Stanley upgrades to “overweight” from “underweight,” a rating it maintained since 2014

** MS analyst Adam Jonas, top-rated analyst by Thomson Reuters StarMine for recommendation on Ford, raises PT to $15 from $10

** Says Ford still has a lot of room to improve its performance, raises forecasts for the first time in over 2 years

** Sees Ford as an out-of-favor self-help story with room to surprise the market with cost-savings and profit repositioning potential

** There is potential for any U.S. infrastructure spending to be an incremental positive for Ford, says Jonas

** Co’s current depressed valuation shows that its F-Series (light-duty and medium-duty trucks) represents more than 150 pct of its enterprise value than any other original equipment manufacturer (OEM) under MS’s global coverage

** Catalysts for 2018 include restructuring actions like reduction in nameplates and exit from certain markets such as Latin America, says Jonas

** “Ford is now our highest ranked U.S. OEM stock and a top 3 U.S. auto pick overall” - MS (Reporting by Jasmine I S; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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