We know Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has a plan to boost its revenue and profits as it transitions to electric vehicles. That could give Ford's stock a nice boost -- but will it be enough to make Ford a "multibagger" with gains rivaling those of EV makers like Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)?
In this Motley Fool Live broadcast, recorded on May 27, Industry Focus host Nick Sciple and Motley Fool senior auto specialist John Rosevear take a look at that question -- and talk about why even if Ford's stock price doesn't soar like Tesla's, it could still offer investors market-beating performance as it moves to embrace a zero-emissions future.
Nick Sciple: A reader asks -- this is a good question. We can probably talk about it from a few angles, it says, "Can Ford multibag from this point? Their market cap is well below that of Tesla. Comments? Thanks." What do you think? We can look at Ford's market cap today. I think it's like $80 billion, $57.44 billion according to Google here. What do you think? Do you think Ford has potential to multibag from here or is it more of an income play as the dividend resumes? What do you think?
John Rosevear: Well, I've been watching the auto business a long time, so I'm going to say, by older metrics, there's incremental growth here and you collect that tasty dividend, which should come back at $0.15 a quarter, $0.60 a share, I don't know what that would yield now, but I know it's pretty attractive. But clearly, you look at Tesla's valuation, you look at Ford's valuation, you look at where you think the companies are going over the next several years, clearly, one of these things is not like the other and something needs to correct in there. I don't think Ford is going to $300 a share. I would believe $30. At the same time, we think Tesla's probably got to settle back down from its crazy run last year, too. I don't think too many people will be surprised if that continues to happen and Tesla setting out at something that's a little more realistic for its likely 2030 prospects. Is Ford going to multibag? It would really surprise me, but lots of things in the auto business have surprised me in the last five years. [laughs] I don't know. I would not bet heavily on it. I am a Ford shareholder and I'm going to hold onto it, but I'm thinking more in terms of incremental gains from the dividend and some stock price gains, maybe a double from here as the bottom line grows, but I wouldn't think multibag, I don't think. [laughs]
Sciple: Yeah, you've got to remember, this is a 100-plus-year-old company, Ford Motors, and it's a 100-plus-year-old industry. There are more registered cars on the road than there are licensed drivers. This isn't like the auto industry can have some big, incredible growth in terms of units delivered. It's more converting and finding these other revenue streams. I think Ford can certainly go up from here. I wouldn't view Tesla as this is how big Ford could be. I think Tesla's market cap is probably a little high relative to what the business would support today. You could argue that Ford is maybe a little bit underappreciated, although so far this year, the market has started to accept the story of the big autos in EV in a much more significant way than they had over the past few years.
Rosevear: I do want to make one point related to that, which is somebody said to me yesterday, all Ford is doing is defending its turf, and I said, yeah, but Ford is priced as if it's going to cede its turf. Ford roughly holds onto its market share in pickups, SUVS, commercial vans, things like that, while getting similar profitability on the hardware to what it gets on ICE now once the EV technology matures after 2025 or so, and getting additional revenue, profit from the adjacencies, the software, the services, and so forth. There is an incremental growth story here, but at the same time, yeah, if Ford is successfully defending its turf, you've got to look at some of these upstarts and say, is Lordstown Motors going to go to battle with Ford in the commercial vehicle space, for instance? We'll replay versions of that story as the other incumbents do or don't step up here, but yes, it is a defense play, but maybe Ford was priced for losing some ground, but that said, no, I don't think this is a 10-bagger from here. I wish because like I said, I've held it for a long time. I bought it in 2009 at, I won't tell you, but it was under two bucks a share, [laughs] I've been sitting on it for a long time and I'd love it if it went way higher, but I think incremental bottom-line growth, share price growth plus the dividend is the real story here.