The value of General Motors is setting new records as its value continues a climb that began last month as the company’s sales rose and the automaker unveiled plans for an aggressive push into electric and automated vehicles.
GM’s stock was given another lift Monday when it climbed 40 cents per share, closing at $45.33, a new high, following two announcements.
In one of announcements, GM disclosed it had acquired, a high-tech start-up, Strobe Inc., which is based in Southern California for an undisclosed sum. Strobe has developed a unique, lower-cost Lidar system and Lidar is considered a critical element in a system used by automated vehicles.
As part of the deal, Strobe’s engineering talent joins GM’s Cruise Automation team to define and develop next-generation Lidar solutions for self-driving vehicles.
(GM buys Lidar firm to accelerate autonomous car development. For the story, Click Here.)
Moving to further polish up its high-tech credentials, GM displayed its “Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure,” or SURUS, which is a flexible fuel cell electric platform with autonomous capabilities, at the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army.
The commercially designed, self-driving platform could be adapted for military use, GM said. The automaker is already testing a fuel-cell iteration of its Chevrolet Colorado in concert with the military.
The two announcements, which appeared to push GM’s stock higher, follow a bullish report from a Deutsche Bank analyst who predicted a $30 billion business could emerging from GM’s bets on self-driving and shared cars. Rod Lache of Deutsche Bank upgraded GM to a buy last month, noting management hasn’t refuted his prediction the company will spin off its mobility business.
However, GM’s long-standing policy also has been not to comment on what it considers to be “speculative” commentary.
(Click Here for details about GM investing in autonomous driving software company.)
Adam Jonas, Morgan Stanley analyst, who follows GM, also reported seeing more interest than normal in GM from investors.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch research analyst John Murphy upgraded his rating on General Motors from “neutral” to “buy” on Tuesday, and raised the firm’s price target on the stock from $40 per share to $57, implying more than 30% of upside from the stock’s price at the time the report was written.
“We think GM’s ability to integrate an autonomous electric vehicle into a ride hailing fleet and/or shared fleet, with the overlay of OnStar, puts the company in a unique competitive first mover position. We expect this will become more obvious as the technology is commercialized over time,” Murphy wrote in the report. “Management gets it, so a higher multiple is deserved.”
Ford shares are also trading at their highest level in seven months following news that Ford would slash costs by $14 billion during the coming years and launch new investment in trucks and electric and hybrid cars.
(To see more about GM going all-electric, Click Here.)
While General Motors has risen nearly 26% so far this year, Ford shares stalled earlier this year and the low price of the company stock contributed to the departure of Mark Fields in May. In past two months, however, Ford stock has increased by 13%.