Stock Picks: Ford, Mattel, Motorola

Wall Street analysts offer buy, sell, or hold opinions on stocks in the news on Oct. 11

Ford Motor: Standard & Poor's equity analyst Efraim Levy raised a rating on shares of Ford Motor (F) to buy from hold on Oct. 11. He also raised a price target on the shares to $16 from $13.

In a posting on the S&P MarketScope service, Levy said he was raising an earnings forecast for Ford, citing his increased forecast for U.S. auto industry sales and reductions in expected interest expense as Ford retires debt.

"We see greater global manufacturing efficiencies and well-controlled incentive spending partly offset by higher commodity costs," Levy said.

The analyst raised earnings per share (EPS) estimates for 2010 to $1.68, from $1.25, and for 2011 to $1.87, from $1.53.

Mattel: Morgan Joseph equity analyst Jeffrey Blaeser reiterated a buy rating and $28 price target on shares of Mattel (MAT) on Oct. 11.

In a note, Blaeser said the toymaker is scheduled to report third-quarter results before the start of trading on Oct. 15. He expects Mattel to report third-quarter EPS of 73¢, versus 63¢ in the prior-year period.

Blaeser said he projects third-quarter sales to increase 9 percent, to $1.95 billion, with gains coming from new product lines associated with World Wrestling Entertainment, Thomas and Friends, and Monsters High, as well as continued strength in Toy Story 3 and Barbie merchandise.

"Overall, we continue to believe Mattel's 2010 product offering should be solid with market share gains likely driven through ongoing Barbie gains and key releases such as Dance Star Mickey, Singamajigs, and iXL," the analyst said.

Blaeser also cited the company's "solid" balance sheet, with a debt-to-capitalization ratio of 22 percent, its projected two-year free cash flow yield of 8 percent, and "strong" projected earnings growth rate, with 2010 EPS estimated to rise 27 percent year-over-year.

Motorola: Credit Suisse equity analyst Kulbinder Garcha maintained an outperform rating and $11 price target on shares of Motorola (MOT) on Oct. 11.

In a note, Garcha said the communications equipment maker was scheduled to post third-quarter results on Oct. 28. He said he expects Motorola to report quarterly revenue of $5.73 billion and EPS of 12¢.

The analyst retained EPS estimates for 2010 of 46¢ and for 2011 of 69¢, driven by a return to profitability at the company's devices business in the fourth quarter and stabilization in its nonhandset businesses.

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