DETROIT (AP) — A Sterne Agee analyst on Monday lowered his 2012 earnings estimate for Ford Motor Co. by five cents a share, citing auto sales weakness in Europe and lower-than-expected industry demand in South America.
Analyst Michael Ward lowered the estimate from $1.70 per share to $1.65.
THE OPINION: Ward said European vehicle registrations fell 6.9 percent in May and 5.7 percent for the first five months of the year. In Germany, one of Europe's strongest economies, registrations fell 5.6 percent in May, the first drop of more than 5 percent since October 2010. In Europe, the auto industry has been declining since last December, he wrote. Overall sales in South America have been down 8.8 percent during the past two months, and Ward expects weakness to extend into the second half of the year. Ward kept his "Buy" rating on the stock.
THE STOCK: Ford's stock price fell along with the broader market in midday trading Monday. It fell 17 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $10.02. Ford stock has traded between $9.05 and $14.22 during the past 52 weeks.
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