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BofA Re-Racks The Detroit Three: 1. GM 2. Ford 3. Fiat Chrysler

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General Motors Company GM 2.1% may be the best auto stock among the “Detroit Three,” at least for now. Bank of America analyst John Murphy has re-assessed GM, Ford Motor Company F 3.34% and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV FCAU 1.57% and downgraded Fiat and Ford.

“The cadence of GM’s earnings will likely accelerate through the 2H:16, while Ford’s earnings will likely slow in 2H:16, and skepticism towards FCAU’s de minimis cash flow intensifies,” Murphy explains.

Related Link: Analyst: Tesla Model 3 Won't Be 'A Game-Changer' In China

He notes that the downgrades to Ford and Fiat may be early and that Bank of America anticipates that the peak of the U.S. auto cycle likely won’t happen until at least 2018.

However, investor concerns over the beginning of the downcycle could keep stock valuations muted in the meantime.

Murphy praises GM and Ford for their balance sheets, global scale and capital return programs, which set them apart fundamentally from Fiat Chrysler.

Ford delivered an impressive Q1 earnings beat, but Murphy believes that Ford will likely start to see diminishing earnings growth in coming quarters. In addition, he sees no obvious positive upside catalysts for the stock that would justify a Buy rating.

Bank of America maintains its Buy rating on GM, but has downgraded Ford from Buy to Neutral and Fiat Chrysler from Neutral to Underperform.

Disclosure: the author holds no position in the stocks mentioned.

Apr 2016Bank of AmericaDowngradesBuyNeutral
Feb 2016Credit SuisseDowngradesNeutralUnderperform
Jan 2016Credit SuisseMaintainsNeutral

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