Bets against Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) jumped by 13.3 million shares in the period that ended August 15. Year to date, its stock is off 12.7%, while the S&P 500 is up 6.5%. Total Ford shares sold short are now 161.3 million.
Ford shares several things with other large car companies. The first is there is a widely held belief that U.S. car sales have peaked. And car sales in China have slowed in many recent months. Ford’s share of the EU market is small. Its July U.S. sales dropped 3% to 215,268 cars and light trucks. Wall Street has pounded the stock.
In its most recently reported quarter:
Net income $2.0B, down $190M from a year ago; Total company adjusted pre-tax profit of $3.0B, down $293M
Earnings per share $0.49, down $0.05 from a year ago; adjusted earnings per share $0.52, down $0.02
The company also issued a large recall recently. According to Reuters:
Ford Motor Co said on Wednesday (August 24) it was recalling about 91,000 vehicles worldwide to replace faulty fuel-pump parts that could potentially cause a car to stall without warning.
Ford said it would replace fuel-pump control modules in about 88,151 vehicles, including certain of its 2013-15 model year Ford Taurus sedans, Ford Flex crossover utility vehicles, Lincoln MKS sedans, Lincoln MKT SUVs and Ford Police Interceptor sedans.
While recalls are at or near record levels, Ford investors cannot be happy.