Ford CEO Jim Farley speaks to reporters outside the company’s global headquarters on May 19 in Dearborn, Michigan, following the premiere of the F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck
Michael Wayland / CNBC
DETROIT – Ford Motor stocks topped $ 20 per share for the first time since September 2001 on Monday as investors began to show confidence in CEO Jim Farley’s turnaround plan.
Since Farley took control of the automaker last October, Ford stock has roughly tripled from under $ 7 per share. Ford’s shares rose as much as 5.9% to $ 20.42 during Monday morning’s trading.
Ford stock is up about 127% so far this year. That’s far more than other automakers like General Motors, which is up 42% and Tesla, which is up 68% this year.
Such a rally has escaped the last two Ford CEOs. The lagging stock price contributed greatly to the departure of Farley’s predecessors, Mark Fields and Jim Hackett.
It’s not a thing Farley did, but a parade of big strides over the last year or so that has once again made Ford gain traction with investors. The actions that are part of Farley’s turnaround plan for Ford + ranged from restructuring the automaker’s management team to announcing billions of dollars for autonomous and electric vehicles.
“We see clear evidence of the significant turnaround at Ford that has happened in a very short space of time, with Ford setting a new record of success in terms of financial outperformance and showing that the transition to an EV / AV / Digital world has accelerated sharply.” said Credit Suisse analyst Dan Levy in a recent investor announcement.
Most recently, Ford announced plans on Thursday to buy back up to $ 5 billion of its high-yield bonds as part of a broader plan to restructure its balance sheet.
Farley told CNBC last month that if the turnaround plan continues, Ford stock will have “absolutely” more headroom.
“There is growing confidence that Ford will be one of the winners in this new digital transformation in the industry,” he said during a phone interview about plans to invest $ 11.4 billion in US electric battery and vehicle production. “We have a lot of incredible advantages.”
Aside from the more difficult EV alignment and turnaround plan, Farley has been recruiting high-profile executives for the automaker. Among them are Doug Field, a former Tesla and Apple executive, and Mike Amend, who most recently was President of Online at Lowe’s.