The Key to Ford's Future Growth

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In today's world, most companies span several regions and sell around the world. As Foolish colleague Morgan Housel notes, 10 years ago, less than a third of S&P 500 revenue growth came from abroad. Today, that area makes up half of the S&P 500's growth.

And that number is growing. The truth is, investors regularly underestimate how much demand comes from abroad. More importantly, for large, multinational corporations that have already established a presence in their home markets, much of their future growth comes from abroad.

With that in mind, today we're looking at Ford (NYS: F) . We'll examine not only where its sales and earnings come from, but a;sp how its sales abroad have changed over time.


Where Ford's sales were four years ago
Four years ago, Ford produced 47% of its sales within the United States.

anImage

Source: S&P Capital IQ.

Source: S&P Capital IQ.

Where Ford's sales are today
Today, the United States continues growing as a contributor to Ford's sales. However, that's not because sales are booming, but rather because sales have slipped globally.

anImage

Source: S&P Capital IQ.

Source: S&P Capital IQ.

Segment

Sales Growth

United States(11%)
Canada2%
Mexico/Other(36%)
United Kingdom(43%)
Germany6%
Italy(45%)
France(22%)
Spain(57%)
Russia(59%)
Belgium(33%)
Other Europe(59%)
All Other(1%)

With Ford, the name of the game isn't seeing booming sales, but rather streamlining operations and cutting costs. While auto sales remain depressed in the United States, growth has shifted globally. Take General Motors (NYS: GM) , for example. The country famously sells more units to China than to the United States. That's an opportunity Ford hopes to cash in on as well, but it has a high hill to climb. Last year, Ford moved just 519,390 vehicles in China, about a fifth of GM's 2.55 million vehicles sold in the nation.

Still, building out a presence in China isn't a given at this point. The company faces long waits for expansion and joint ventures to be approved in the country, while first movers like GM continue growing out their Chinese presence.

That's not to say Ford doesn't stand a chance, but investors looking at Ford should be aware of the company's global standing. While the United States looks to have ample room for automobile growth in the next decade, the opportunity stateside pales in comparison with the boom in automobiles in emerging markets.

Keep searching for global opportunities
There's a reason companies are seeing outsized growth around the world; in the past decade, emerging-market consumer spending grew 250%, leaving the growth rates of the U.S. and Europe in the dust. If you're an investor scanning the world for opportunities, look no further than our new report, "3 Companies Set to Dominate the World." In it, Fool analysts select three companies with an international growth opportunity that's simply stunning. The report is free but won't be available forever, so get your copy by clicking here today!

At the time this article was published Eric Bleekerowns shares of no companies listed above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Ford and General Motors and creating a synthetic long position in Ford. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

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