Analysts at investment bank Goldman Sachs have upgraded Ford to a 'buy' from neutral and said that investors could see a 40% return on Ford stock as the automaker restructures its business and boosts its bottom line.

Goldman Sachs has raised its 12-month Ford share price target to US$12 from US$9, sending shares up in premarket trading today.

"While we still expect a downward earnings trajectory into 2019 (North America profit under-pressure), we believe next year will represent trough earnings and the combination of a refreshed product cadence globally as well as cost improvements from strategic initiatives will begin to take hold," analyst David Tamberrino said in a note.

Ford's announcement of restructuring over the next five years will help "improve its plant footprint and cost structure," the note said.

Last week, Ford announced a Q3 net profit of US$993m, or 25 cents per share, a 36% drop from the year earlier quarter as its bottom line was squeezed by losses in China and higher commodity prices. However, the results were seen by some analysts as better than expected, with Ford achieving strong results in North America and setting strategies for other regions around the world.

See also: 

Ford in 'serious' alliance talks with VW – report

Ford investors may be down, but not out

Ford Q3 profit squeezed by China slump and commodities