Barron’s: Fiat Shares Could Double as Chrysler Merger Dust Settles

Fiat 500 pop

The big news from the auto industry last week was that Fiat (FIATY.PK), through some clever negotiating, was able to secure the purchase of the remaining stake in the Chrysler Group – about 41 percent — for around $4.35 billion and ultimately avert a strategy that would have seen that stake be sold off in stock as an initial public offering.

In response to the deal, which many seem to view as a good outcome for Fiat, the Italian automaker’s Milan-based shares surged late last week. But that surge may be just the beginning as the car company puts its new assets to good use.

According to Barron’s and reported by Reuters, Fiat SpA’s shares could see a doubling in value over the next two years. Currently, the stock is trading around $9.35 per share. Barron’s asserts that Fiat’s operating leverage “will get a boost from the U.S. economy’s continued recovery” and an outlook that is looking increasingly positive in Europe, Reuters reports.

Fiat 500L

It’s not entirely sure as of yet to determine how Chrysler and its sub-brands — the Chrysler nameplate, Dodge, Jeep, SRT, and Ram — will tie into the Fiat family (Fiat owns Ferrari, Maserati, the Fiat brand, Alpha Romeo, and Lancia). However, a weekend Reuters piece reports that the merger will likely spur a U.S. listing for Fiat.

“A listing move would help [Fiat CEO Sergio] Marchionne distance himself from troubles in Europe, where thousands of Fiat’s Italian workers are on state-backed temporary lay-off schemes, [and] highlight its gains in the United States and convince a larger pool of investors that the merged company can take the fight to rivals,” Reuters reports.

“Today people think of Fiat as a weak European player with a good exposure to South America and exposure to North America through Chrysler,” International Strategy and Investment analyst George Galliers told the news service. “Once you have a U.S. listing, people are more likely to think of the entity in the same context as they do Ford and GM.”