By: GZ on Lunedì 30 Aprile 2007 16:06
su ^Fiat#^ dovrei stare zitto ma fino a quando non c'è una legge che proibisce a chi si è sbagliato su un titolo o mercato di esprimersi lo stesso faccio notare che anche il WSJ venerdì riporta che ad esempio in Italia ha gli impianti che lavorano al 51% di utilizzazione (!... cioè non hanno molto da fare...), in europa continua a lavorare in perdita nonostante siamo al quinto annno di espansione mondiale, sulle piccole cilindrate ha margini vicini a zero e Marchionne ha accellerato il lancio di tutti i modelli per cui poi fino al 2009 risulta scoperta (non è che accellerando poi raddoppi i modelli che hai) mentre francesi e tedeschi cominciano ora a portarli sul mercato
Quello che va benissimo è il Brasile dove Fiat per motivi storici ha margini incredibilmente alti, il doppio della concorrenza (ora sotto attacco) e la magnifica CNH (trattori) che effettivamente è la gallina dalle uova d'oro ora che tutto quello che sa di macchine agricole nel mondo è di moda
Ad ogni modo Marchionne annuncia che Fiat invece di pagare dividendi ricomprerà 1.4 miliardi di proprie azioni
-----------------------------Can Fiat Sustain Its Pace?
Stock's Huge Rally
Could Run Out of Gas
As Model-Lineup Thins
By KENNETH MAXWELL
April 27, 2007; Page C1
MILAN -- Since taking over as Fiat SpA's chief executive, Sergio Marchionne has steered a turnaround at the once-creaky car company.
The stock has risen 263% since he came on board at the start of June 2004, and it is up 50% so far this year, while competitor Renault SA is up 7.54% in 2007. Though Fiat makes about two million cars a year, its market value is €27.2 billion ($37.1 billion), greater than General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. combined, each of which makes more than three times as many cars. Just this week, Fiat -- which also makes tractors, trucks and machine equipment -- announced its sixth-consecutive quarter of profits in its auto division.
In Milan, the stock yesterday edged up to €21.75. In 4 p.m. trading yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange, Fiat's American depositary shares were down 12 cents to $29.61. Fiat's shares currently trade at about 17 times estimated per-share earnings for this year, making it more expensive than its European competitors. Renault's shares currently trade at about nine times projected earnings for 2007, while PSA Peugeot Citroën SA has a price/earnings ratio of about 15.
But Mr. Marchionne's pedal-to-the-metal management style now leaves some wondering how much gas is left in the tank. While the company is healthier than it has been in years, a number of fundamentals will make it challenging to raise the stock price above its current level -- or even keep it there during the second half.
"We're going to hold the stock we have for the time being but we wouldn't chase the stock at these levels," says Stefan Bauknecht, fund manager and head of internal auto-sector analysis at DWS, the fund arm of Deutsche Bank. "I expect the second half to be much more challenging for them. As competition increases from the likes of the French manufacturers and comparisons get tougher for Fiat, it's going to be a more difficult tide for them to swim against."
GianPaolo Rivano of fund manager Gesti-Re SGR says, "All the good news you could possibly predict within the near future is already in the current price." Mr. Rivano doesn't own any Fiat shares because "the risk profile for any long-term move on the shares at the moment seems excessive," he says.
An auto-industry outsider and a lawyer by training, Mr. Marchionne took an ax to management ranks, weeding out underperformers and streamlining the decision-making process. After negotiating a $2 billion payout from GM in 2005 to dissolve an ill-fated partnership, he signed a string of alliances from Detroit to India, allowing Fiat to expand into new markets and reduce development costs. He also has driven his engineers to cut down on the time to market for new models.
His latest feat: accelerating the rollout of Fiat's iconic mini car, the 500, to July from September. That will give the Turin-based company an edge against competitors such as Peugeot and Toyota Motor Corp., which sell well-known but aging models in the same category. But it also means that Fiat could be hitting its top speed sooner than expected. Its best seller, the compact Grande Punto, will face increased competition as Volkswagen AG of Germany, Renault and Peugeot roll out their own new models in the same class.
Mr. Marchionne's tactic of accelerating launches is reminiscent of what another turnaround specialist, Carlos Ghosn, attempted at Japan's Nissan Motor Co. Mr. Ghosn, now the chief executive of both Renault and its affiliate Nissan, rushed out a bevy of new models to achieve his target of selling 3.6 million vehicles in 2005. But that left the company with few new products to attract consumers after that. Yesterday, Nissan reported its first annual profit decline since Mr. Ghosn took the helm in 1999.
Without another major car launch until 2009, Mr. Marchionne may have to turn his attention to Fiat's Italian factories. UBS analysts estimate that Fiat's seven Italian plants run at about 51% of capacity, "far, far below optimum levels," leaving the company struggling to cover fixed costs. The bank is doubtful that Fiat was profitable in the European market last year. UBS or its affiliates have held Fiat shares until recently. It has provided investment-banking services for Fiat within the past year.
In addition, the return of the 500, which was the company's best-selling model in the 1950s and '60s, might have a minimal impact on the bottom line. Margins are wafer-thin for cars in the mini segment of the market in Europe in general, estimated by analysts to be at around 0.5%. Fiat has yet to disclose the price tag on the 500.
Management maintains there is still plenty of upside potential in the stock, and the company could still increase profitability at its CNH tractor and Iveco truck divisions, which together account for just under 40% of revenue. This week, the company announced it has begun buying back shares in a program that could be valued at €1.4 billion. "This shows we think the shares have plenty of room to appreciate," Mr. Marchionne said during the annual shareholder meeting this mon