For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – March 19, 2010 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Ford Motor Co. (F), Moody’s Investors Service (MCO), Toyota Motors (TM), SunPower Corporation (SPWRA) and Bank of America (BAC).
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Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:
Ford Shares Hit 5-Year High
Shares of Ford Motor Co. (F) surged to $14.15 in afternoon trading yesterday for the first time in 5 years. The stock price rose 4.9% since January 2005 before it closed at $14.10 Wednesday.
The 5-year high was primarily driven by Moody’s Investors Service’s (MCO) upward revision of Ford’s corporate family rating and probability of default rating to “B2″ from “B3.” The agency also lifted the company’s secured credit facility to “Ba2″ from “Ba3,” and its senior unsecured debt to “B3″ from “Caa1.”
Moody’s upward revision was forced by Ford’s potential to improve its finances over time and its new product program as the company plans to start selling a new global Fiesta subcompact this year and a new Focus compact early in 2011.
The 5-year high stock price is a recovery from a low of $1.26 on November 19, 2008, when Ford was struggling with the global economic crisis. The company’s aggressive restructuring plan has enabled the take-off, which also helped it bypass bankruptcy unlike its cross-town rivals General Motors and Chrysler.
Last month, Ford led all U.S. automakers, outperforming General Motors for the first time in nearly a decade in terms of sales growth, sales volume and market share. The company’s sales advanced 43% to 142,285 vehicles with a staggering 74% rise in fleet sales, as it grabbed customers from Toyota Motors (TM), which has been struggling with automotive safety recalls. According to Autodata Corp., Ford won an 18.2% market share during the month.
SunPower to Build Solar Project
SunPower Corporation (SPWRA) announced that it will design and construct a 1-megawatt solar power system at the Yolo County Justice Center in Woodland, California.
Yolo County, which will own the system and associated renewable energy credits, is financing the purchase using multiple funding sources, including clean renewable energy bonds and qualified energy conservation bonds. The bonds were financed by Bank of America (BAC). It also assisted the county in securing a 15-year loan from the California Energy Commission.
The solar power system is expected to be operational by Sep 2010 and will utilize SunPower solar panels. SunPower’s solar panels are automated to follow the sun’s movement during the day, increasing sunlight capture by up to 25% over conventional fixed-tilt systems, while significantly reducing land use requirements.
According to conversion formulas provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the solar power system is expected to get rid of more than 2.2 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year, equivalent to the emissions by over 5,700 cars on California’s roads over the 30-year life of the system.
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