The short interest in Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) rose by 11.7 million shares to 121.6 million for the period that ended April 13. Ford’s total short interest was fifth among all stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Ford’s shares have dropped more than those of the other two American car makers this year. Its stock has fallen 5.4% to $11.48. GM’s shares are down 2.4% to $33.99 over the same period, while Fiat Chrysler’s shares are up 15.6% to $10.54.
Among the reasons for the drop in Ford’s shares are expectations its first-quarter results will be weak. Some 58% of the analysts who cover Ford rate its shares as only a “hold.”
Ford’s U.S. sales have weakened this year. Despite the ongoing success of its F-150 pickup, the company’s flagship and the perennial best-selling vehicle in America, total company sales are down 4.4% in the first quarter of 2017 to 258,000. Industry sales over the same period are off 1.5% to 4,033,045. Ford’s recent sales in China have been weak. It cannot afford to lose ground in what has become the world’s largest car market.
Ford suffered a public rebuke recently when the value of Tesla’s shares moved ahead of its own. That difference could increase if Ford’s results do not start to show some promise.