Ford (NYSE: F) is making some suspect moves lately; including marketing land in St. Paul Minnesota, and entering into a partnership with Alibaba (NYSE: BABA). That will raise the question is Ford making money?
Ford and Alibaba will start direct online sales of cars in China through Alibaba’s Tmall and an “auto-vending machine,” Reuters reported. Under the plan, vehicles will be purchased online and delivered to customers.
Ford is planning an Auto Vending Machine
The “Automobile Vending Machine” will be a multistory parking garage will sell vehicles directly to consumers “sources told Reuters. It is not clear if the Vending Machine is a next-generation dealership, a retail venue like the Tesla Store, or a simply a storage facility for short-term rentals.
Customers will be able to browse through cars in the vending machine with their phones and test drive them, Alibaba told Reuters. It is not clear if Ford and Alibaba are planning to bring the Vending Machine to other markets such as North America or the United Kingdom.
Ford is dumping some of its real estate in the United States, the company has hired realtor CBRE Minneapolis to try and sell 144 acres in St. Paul that were the location of a defunct truck factory, The Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal reported. Interestingly, enough Ford is expanding its operations in Detroit and Dearborn, Michigan, by renting space in a number of buildings including an old Lord & Taylor department store.
Additional space is needed is expanding its autonomous vehicle research and development in the Motor City, The automaker is leasing 45,000 square feet of space in an old factory to house 220 members of its self-driving vehicle project, Crain’s Detroit Business reported.
Yes Ford is Making Money
Bold moves like these will have some observers wondering if Ford is making money. The answer to that question is a definite yes, but income is down dramatically from last year.
Ford reported $7.247 billion (€6.03 billion) in income in September 2016 that fell to $4.41 billion (€3.65 billion) in September 2017. That indicates a company some potentially serious problems. Despite the big income drop, Ford still has a lot of cash.
Ford reported a free cash flow of $3.326 billion (€2.76 billion), $6.183 billion (€5.13 billion) in cash from financing, and $17.69 billion (€14.68 billion) in cash from operations on September 30, 2017. Despite its problems, Ford is still a cash-generating machine, even though cash from operations is down, it dropped from $19.14 billion (€15.88 billion) to $17.69 billion (€14.68 billion) in the 12 months between 3rd quarter 2016 and 3rd quarter 2017.
That money gave Ford a lot of float in the form of $38.08 billion (€31.60 billion) in cash and short-term investments on 30 September 2017. That number was up from $34.16 billion (€28.71 billion) in September 2016. Ford also had a tremendous amount of value; in the form of $251.27 billion (€208.53 billion) in assets on September 30, 2017.
More importantly, Ford’s revenue is growing it rose from $153.40 billion (€127.31 billion) in September 2016 to $154.10 billion (€127.89 billion) in September 2017. That indicates Ford’s sales machine is still running smoothly.
Yes Ford is a Value Investment
These figures indicate that Ford was a tremendous value investment at the $12.62 (€10.47) share price it achieved on 2 January 2017. Here’s what value investors will get for their $12.62 (€10.47) when they buy Ford:
A return on equity of 14.07% on September 30, 2017.
A market capitalization of $50.09 billion (€41.47 billion) on 2 January, 2018.
An enterprise value of $160.67 billion (€133.34 billion) on December 29, 2017.
These investors also received a dividend of 15¢ (€0.12) a share on October 20, 2017. The next divided might be higher because Ford paid a 20¢ (€0.17) dividend in January 2017.
Those who are looking for a classic cheap value investment that is undervalued and underappreciated by the market will be well served by Ford. This automaker is a far better investment in cutting-edge automotive technology like electric and self-driving vehicles than Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA).
The Good Times Keep Rolling at Ford
It goes without saying that Ford will be in a great position to buy up the remains of Tesla when it finally collapses.
Until then Ford and its competitors are enjoying some great auto sales. Americans purchased 17.4 million vehicles in November 2017, down slightly from 18.1 million in vehicles in October and 18.6 million in September, The Detroit Free Press reported.
Best of all Ford is doing very well in the car-sales departments. Sales of all Ford-branded passenger cars increased by 5.25% in November, The Free Press reported. That jump was driven by a 44.9% increase in sales of the Focus economy box.
Four-wheel drive sales were also great at Ford, sales of the Edge crossover grew by 22.5% and sales of the Explorer SUV increased by 24.8%. Although Ford might have to do some work in the truck department; sales of the all-important F-series pickups only increased by 1%. All changes in percentages reflect the differences in sales between November 2016 and November 2017.
Ford is a great value investment because it has a growing business. Buy this stock while it’s cheap.