Yahoo Finance's Julie Hyman and Brian Sozzi discuss Ford stock's dip, Mercedes-Benz teaming up with Luminar for self-driving technology, and Signet Jewelers shares rising.
JULIE HYMAN: I want to take a look at some other individual movers that we're watching. One of them is Ford. Now Ford, of course, had had a big rally, and then it's been kind of giving that up. And that's part of the reason that we are seeing a downgrade this morning coming from Jefferies, basically saying they like the company.
They said-- the title of the note is restored and rerated downgrade to hold basically because the company has been doing so well, perhaps some of this upside is now priced in. The analyst saying it took so long and happened so fast-- I believe the analyst over there, Philippe Houchois-- saying Ford and its shares are in good shape and in good hands. But after that big rally, it looks like from the chart, he's not the only one recommending a little bit of backing off here, Sozz?
BRIAN SOZZI: No. And this is the second I would say cautious note on Wall Street on Ford in as many weeks. Keep in mind last week we were talking about some cautious commentary out of Morgan Stanley's Adam Jonas on Ford, concern about some of the potential pricing pressure in the marketplace this year as the auto market starts to make more cars, gets more cars onto dealer lots.
But I understand this analyst's perspective here, Julie. Ford shares have been on a tremendous run over the past year, consistently one of the hottest ticker pages on the Yahoo Finance platform, and now there are some valuation concerns. I mean, the-- Ford, General Motors, all the companies are still battling through chip supply concerns and that might-- you know, how that played out in the most recent quarter may disappoint some investors when these companies report in a few weeks.
JULIE HYMAN: Yeah, we'll have to see if it can meet sort of these elevated expectations. On a car-related note, I want to check on shares of Luminar this morning because they have a new deal with Mercedes. Luminar again to remind folks, is the lidar company. In other words, uses lasers to help develop autonomous driving, to help navigate autonomous driving. And so according to reports here, Mercedes is going to partner with the company to try to have automated driving in its next generation of vehicles.
So Luminar has signed a handful of deals here. I don't know if this is sort of the biggest name yet that they've signed on. I haven't kept that close track. What do you think, Sozz? I mean, obviously, the market seeing this as a big deal for the company.
BRIAN SOZZI: I would agree with the press release here, Julie. I know you have to stay skeptical, that's part of this gig but this is a big commercial win for Luminar. Just attach your name to the storied Mercedes brand, I think really further validates what Luminar is doing.
And we've talked to founder and CEO Austin Russell since they came public since day one and every time he comes on he's talking about more contracts, more legitimate contracts his company is winning here. And I'm starting to really be surprised by the stock reaction. I mean, the stock is up 10% here in the early going but right now, the stock's down about 18% over the past six months despite these wins. At some point, you have to think Luminar shares get rerated higher.
JULIE HYMAN: I mean, there's-- yeah, there's already some rerating happening as we speak. And then also I want to talk about one more mover, that is Signet Jewelers here this morning. Those shares are up by nearly 4%. The company came out and basically gave an updated higher forecast, reported on the holiday season as well. Said holiday season sales had revenue growth of over 30%, comp sales of over 25%. So that stock has struggled a bit, so that-- the bounce that we're seeing this morning on those headlines coming on the back of some sort of lackluster performance.
BRIAN SOZZI: Blowout quarter, Julie from this company. Lots of things I liked in this report. I like that the gains were broad-based, North America sales for the holiday, up 30.2%. International sales up 30.5%. And they also, which is not getting a lot of attention here, except on Yahoo Finance, the company raised its stock buyback program by $500 million. So a big show of confidence that they may be able to continue these results. And they did mention January sales to date are tracking up a high-single-digit percentage, that's pretty good.
JULIE HYMAN: Yeah. And also I think underlines the idea that while we saw those overall government numbers on retail sales that fell last month, and were not as good as expected or were worse than expected, you do have quite a few standouts within retail that still managed to show some significant strength.
BRIAN SOZZI: High-end, Julie.
JULIE HYMAN: Yes. Ah. [? That's what I'm seeing. ?]
BRIAN SOZZI: High-end. [? Yeah. Same time we just talked-- ?] look, we just talked to Rolls-Royce's CEO last week. Rolls-Royces are rolling off the lot, sales are strong. If you're selling stuff on the high-end you're doing pretty well.