This morning, Fitch Ratings upgraded Ford Motor Company and Ford Credit by one notch to BBB- from BB+ with a stable outlook. This means Ford is now investment grade stock for the first time since late 2005.
Fitch said the move “reflects the automaker’s significantly improved financial performance, balance sheet repair, and product portfolio improvement that have taken place over the past several years.”
they wrote in a report. The work “has put the company in a solid position to withstand the significant cyclical and secular pressures faced by the global auto industry.” The upgrade is proof of Ford’s progress and a plan that “includes achieving strong investment grade ratings and maintaining investment grade throughout an economic cycle,” said Bob Shanks, Ford’s chief financial officer, in a statement. Ford shares rose 2.3% in preopen trading.
“We are very pleased with today’s decision by Fitch,’ said Bob Shanks, Ford’s CFO. ‘It is an important proof point of the continued progress the Ford team is making with our One Ford plan. Moving forward, we will continue to focus on driving profitable growth for all of our stakeholders. In fact, our One Ford plan includes achieving strong investment grade ratings and maintaining investment grade throughout an economic cycle.”