Ferrari Shares Resume Advance, Shaking Off Leadership Worries.
“Manley isn’t Italian, and surely wouldn’t be interested in what would be a huge demotion”
Legendary supercar maker Ferrari’s share price wobbled a bit after news its CEO Louis Camilleri had quit, but quickly resumed an upward trend as rumors swirled about the likely replacement.
Ferrari shares rose about 0.5% early on Monday in Europe to €177.65. The shares are now 52% higher than the lowest point of the coronavirus-induced slump in April.
Ferrari has such a well-established game plan and unique position in the market – it is now valued more as a luxury goods maker than just another desperate carmaker scrapping for profits – that any controversy over the leadership shouldn’t trouble shareholders.
The Italian media has reported some early favorites for the job, including Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Mike Manley, Ferrari F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and Maserati CEO Davide Grasso. Manley isn’t Italian, and surely wouldn’t be interested in what would be a huge demotion.
When Ferrari announced Camilleri had quit for health reasons, it also added mysteriously that this wasn’t the only reason, but didn’t elaborate. The biggest problem facing Ferrari is its transition to the world of electromobility and Camilleri has been on the record showing little enthusiasm for an all-electric sports car. Under his leadership, Ferrari said 60% of its models would have hybrid power by 2022, but Camilleri recently said if a V-12 Ferrari is only used for about 3,000 kilometers a year, it would emit less CO2 than a small car running very day.
Ferrari chairman John Elkann will take over as CEO temporarily. Elkann, from Italy’s Agnelli family, is CEO of Exor, the family’s investment company. Exor controls Ferrari. Elkann will become chairman of Stellantis, the combination of Fiat Chrysler and Groupe PSA set to be launched early in 2021.
In the 3rd quarter, Ferrari’s earnings rose 6.4% compared with the same period last year to €330 million ($390 million) while sales fell 3% to €880 million ($1 billion). Ferrari said sales and profits were boosted by sales of the higher-priced Monza 12-cylinder vehicles, and deliveries of the SF90 Stradale. The new Roma was fulfilling targets. Ferrari unveiled a new more powerful Portofino in September.
For all of 2020, according to analysts, core earnings should reach about €1.125 billion ($1.3 billion), up a bit from the previously predicted €1.075 billion to €1.125 billion.
Not all analysts see constant sunny uplands for Ferrari. After the 3rd quarter results Bernstein Research’s Arndt Ellinghorst wondered if the current level of profit was sustainable, and the share price might be a bit high.
Morgan Stanley has said it expects Ferrari sales to double by 2030 to over 20,000, and double again by 2040. In 2019, Ferrari sold 10,131 vehicles, up 9.5% on the previous year.
A Ferrari board meeting Tuesday may shed light on the new CEO’s identity.
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