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FERRARI N.V.

(RACE)
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Ferrari Turns to a Chip Guy as CEO Amid Industry Pivot -- Update

06/09/2021 | 07:34am EDT

By Eric Sylvers

MILAN -- Ferrari NV hired a top executive from the semiconductor industry as its new CEO, as car makers focus on microchips and digital technologies that increasingly control everything from brakes to entertainment systems.

Benedetto Vigna, 52, will take over at Ferrari on Sept. 1. Until then, John Elkann, the company's chairman, will continue as interim chief executive. Mr. Vigna is currently a divisional president at French-Italian semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics NV, where he has worked for more than 25 years.

In announcing the appointment, Mr. Elkann cited Mr. Vigna's "deep understanding of the technologies driving much of the change in our industry."

The global chip shortage that has led to production delays in the auto industry is expected to continue for months to come. That has called into question the auto sector's rebound as the severity of the coronavirus pandemic recedes in many countries.

The pandemic's economic fallout has hit orders for Ferraris and other luxury cars. Ferrari issued a profit warning in May, saying that because of the pandemic it wouldn't meet profit targets it had set for next year. The company pushed back the target to 2023.

Despite the setback, Ferrari has weathered the Covid-19 storm better than most of its peers. While car sales, revenue and profit fell last year, the company still reported a 21% operating margin after stripping out one-time items. That compares with 7.9% for General Motors Co. Ford Motor Co. posted a loss last year. While Ferrari's profit margin was consistently above 20% before the pandemic, most car makers have struggled to exceed 10% in the best of times.

Ferrari's Italian-traded shares are down almost 20% this year, though the stock is still trading more than four times higher than five years ago.

Mr. Vigna will be tasked with charting Ferrari's path toward electrification. The shift is consuming the energy of the entire industry, but it is a particularly pressing issue for Ferrari, which has long distinguished itself through its powerful motors. It isn't yet clear how successfully it can shift to a new-look auto industry, where batteries and computer code supplant the internal combustion motor.

The first plug-in hybrid Ferrari is on sale -- subject to a waiting list as with all models -- and the company has promised its first all-electric vehicle in 2025.

Also on Mr. Vigna's to-do list will be righting Ferrari's Formula One team, which hasn't won a championship since 2008 or an individual race since September 2019.

Mr. Vigna follows on the heels of Louis Camilleri, who ran Ferrari starting in July 2018 following the sudden death of Sergio Marchionne, who was CEO of both the fabled sports car maker and the former Fiat Chrysler group, now part of Stellantis NV.

Mr. Camilleri, a former tobacco executive who also had no car-industry experience, stepped down in December 2020 following a bout of Covid-19. He had a successful run at the helm, boosting Ferrari's sales and profit until the pandemic upended the auto industry.

Many analysts had expected Ferrari to appoint an executive with experience in the luxury-goods industry as the auto maker works to expand its brand beyond cars into products such as apparel and leather accessories.

In his years running Ferrari, Mr. Marchionne successfully pitched it to investors as a luxury-goods company that should be valued in a similar way to the likes of Hermès International SA and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE. That has allowed Ferrari to achieve a market capitalization of 35 billion euros, equivalent to about $42.6 billion, many times that of some mass-market car makers with bigger operations.

Write to Eric Sylvers at eric.sylvers@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

06-09-21 0934ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CHRISTIAN DIOR SE -1.08% 684 Real-time Quote.52.11%
DJ INDUSTRIAL -0.42% 34935.47 Delayed Quote.14.13%
EXOR N.V. -0.49% 69.38 Delayed Quote.5.29%
FERRARI N.V. 0.95% 218.29 Delayed Quote.-5.79%
FORD MOTOR COMPANY -3.06% 13.95 Delayed Quote.63.71%
GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY -0.77% 56.84 Delayed Quote.37.56%
LVMH MOËT HENNESSY LOUIS VUITTON SE -1.48% 673.9 Real-time Quote.33.88%
PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL, INC. -0.20% 100.09 Delayed Quote.21.14%
STELLANTIS N.V. -0.89% 16.19 Real-time Quote.0.00%
STELLANTIS N.V. -1.00% 16.19 Delayed Quote.11.56%
STMICROELECTRONICS N.V. -1.43% 34.54 Real-time Quote.15.72%
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Financials
Sales 2021 4 284 M 5 084 M 5 084 M
Net income 2021 781 M 927 M 927 M
Net Debt 2021 1 382 M 1 641 M 1 641 M
P/E ratio 2021 42,2x
Yield 2021 1,03%
Capitalization 33 843 M 40 240 M 40 166 M
EV / Sales 2021 8,22x
EV / Sales 2022 7,63x
Nbr of Employees 4 558
Free-Float 48,4%
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Technical analysis trends FERRARI N.V.
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Income Statement Evolution
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Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 10
Last Close Price 181,87 €
Average target price 181,83 €
Spread / Average Target -0,02%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
John Jacob Philip Elkann Executive Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Antonio Picca Piccon Chief Financial Officer
Michael Hugo Leiters Chief Technology Officer
Eduardo H. Cue Independent Non-Executive Director
Sergio Duca Senior Independent Non-Executive Director
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