Analyst Hits Brakes on Ford, Toyota’s French Cost Plan, GM’s Ad Woes

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) 2012 earnings estimates were lowered by $0.05 per share by Sterne Agee Monday due to European sales weakness and lower industry demand in South America than was expected. According to Ward, European vehicle registration dropped 6.9% during May and 5.7% during the first five months of the year. Germany saw registrations drop 5.6% in May, the first this large since October 2010. The auto industry has been falling in Europe since last December, and South American sales have dropped 8.8% within the past two months. Ward predicts the weakness to expand into the second half of the year. Ward maintains his “Buy” rating on the shares.  The shares closed down $0.18 (1.77%) Monday at $10.01.

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Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) plans to move Yaris production for the U.S. from Japan to France, Reuters reports. This will most likely occur in May 2013, and analysts view the move as a way to keep a strong yen and to keep increasing energy costs from affecting earnings. The shares closed down $0.71 (0.92%) Monday at $76.09.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) has agreed to spend money in the TV negotiations, but ended up with deals moving its advertising out of more popular networks and shows into less expensive units, the New York Post reports. GM, which still has the government as a shareholder, attempts to gain more from its advertising money and pushed for a 20% cut in CPMs–cost per thousand eyeballs. The carmaker possesses an annual advertising budget totaling $1.8B, and Kantar Media reports that of that, GM used $1.1B for TV in 2011, a year-over-year decline of 7.6%.

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