Key Takeaways From Ford Motor Company's March Sales Data

Vetr raised shares of General Motors Company from a "buy" rating to a "strong-buy" rating and set a $41.64 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, March 13th.

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) (TSE:GMM.U)'s stock had its "in-line" rating reiterated by equities researchers at Evercore ISI in a research report issued on Thursday.

Total vehicle sales were, on average, expected to come in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17.4 million units, down from a 17.6-million-unit rate. Driving the numbers were a reduction in fleet sales of almost 44,000 units.

GM said March sales in Chevrolet segment slumped 2.2% to 172,458 units while sales in Cadillac unit fell 1.5% to 12,861 units while sales in Buick segment soared 15.1% to 20,957 units from a year ago month. In SUVs, Explorer sales declined 6.4% and Escape sales dropped 1.4%.

At GMC, sales of the Acadia, which was redesigned in 2016, increased 84% in March, driving the brand's big increase for the month. "But there are several areas of concern this year lurking just below the surface". Still, we consider the current sales environment healthy despite the decline and do not see the industry on the verge of a major contraction.

While SUV sales were key to those increases, sedans also bolstered the numbers. While Lincoln's total sales were down 1.4% in March compared to the prior year, it recorded its best March retail sales performance in nine years with a 5% gain. Copper dropped five cents, or 1.8%, to 2.60 dollars a pound. Sales of sport-utility vehicles, crossovers and pickup trucks increased 5.5% to 117,521, reflecting a record March. The company has an average rating of "Buy" and an average target price of $13.80.

Last but not least, we find it ridiculous that a stock that has an EV to sales ratio of 0.3 is getting punished this way for just missing "sales" expectations.

On inventories, GM said it expects inventory levels at the end of 2017 to be same as that in 2016. Many experts in the industry expected that to change in March, but unfortunately auto companies across the United States are struggling to sell vehicles. But that's being offset by falling vehicle sales, pushing overall sales for Honda and Ford down compared with previous year.

Nissan (NSANY) reported a 3% US sales gain, just above views for 2.8%. The shares were acquired at an average price of $11.67 per share, for a total transaction of $1,999,992.93.

Ford sold 236,250 vehicles last month, lower than analysts projections, which forecasted Ford sales dropping around 5 percent.

Yet even at Ford, which saw a 24 percent decline in auto sales, executives were happy, largely because of a 10 percent increase in sales of the F-Series pickup.

Toyota Motor Corp (ADR) (NYSE: TM)'s March sales fell 2.1 percent to 215,224. Honda's sales also were off, by 2 percent.

The overall dip for Ford in March can be attributed to a 17 percent decline in fleet vehicles, and a 26 percent drop in auto sales for the Ford brand. General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) has a market capitalization of $52.89B and most recently 1.50B outstanding shares have been calculated.

Auto sales have reached all-time highs in recent years, but companies are offering more cash, incentives, and low-interest loans to draw in buyers.

With the dust settling from yesterday's lackluster March figures, though, General Motors has emerged as something of an exception to the norm.