The Italian supercar maker, the top performer in the Stoxx 600 Automobiles & Parts index for each of the last three years, has fallen 5.6 per cent since the start of 2021 and just suffered its worst quarter since the end of 2018. That’s a marked contrast to strong gains by rivals, including Volkswagen, which owns luxury brands Porsche, Bugatti and Lamborghini.
While competitors, particularly VW, have got a boost from the hullabaloo around electric vehicles, the company known for its Prancing Horse logo has run into setbacks including an underwhelming earnings forecast. Without a clear EV strategy, Ferrari has also been hurt by an unresolved search for a new chief executive, and a broader rotation out of so-called growth names for a company that some investors regard more as a luxury play.
“The stock has become too expensive and earnings momentum is fading," said Sanford C Bernstein analyst Arndt Ellinghorst, also noting uncertainty over the CEO situation and a “lack of EV vision.”
In February’s results announcement, Ferrari gave a conservative earnings outlook for this year as it works through disruption from the pandemic on top of the unexpected search for a new leader. Citing personal reasons, Louis Camilleri abruptly retired from his role as CEO in December, leaving the firm facing its second leadership crisis in as many years and complicating the transition toward electric mobility.
Ferrari is “making good progress with the search process to identify the right leader," Chairman John Elkann said April 1.