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CS First Boston Downgrades Ford

CS First Boston downgraded Ford Motor (F) to neutral from strong buy.

Analyst Wendy Beale Needham says the move removes Ford from the Focus List. She notes the recall is due to possible tire damage incremental to a still-pending possiblity of a further recall on the old Explorer. She says the Explorer accounts for $0.75-$1.00 per share of Ford's profits, making it one of company's most important brands.

Beale Needham now thinks the integrity of the brand is at risk. With a greater number of SUV models in the market, she thinks it will be even more difficult for the new Explorer to gain traction in the market.

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