GM rallies after Deutsche Bank upgrades to 'buy'

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GM CEO Mary Barra speaks to employees with a self-driving Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle on stage. (General Motors)

General Motors (GM) shares jumped to their highest level in more than three years after analysts at Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock to a “buy” and hiked its price target.

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In a note to clients Monday, Deutsche Bank’s Rod Lache wrote that GM has quietly taken a lead in the race to build self-driving vehicles. That development may surprise investors, he said. GM is on track to have autonomous cars ready for commercial deployment within quarters—potentially beating competitors by years.

“We believe that businesses built off of this platform will ramp much faster than is widely expected,” Lache said.

Deutsche Bank set a new price target for GM at $51, up from a prior $36.

GM jumped 2.5% to $40.38 in recent trading. The stock hit an intraday high of $40.64, its best mark since December 2013.

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By Deutsche Bank’s estimates, around 60% of urban households could find a better deal in using autonomous taxi services compared to owning a personal vehicle. Automakers like GM will see the early potential of self-driving vehicles sooner rather than later, according to the investment bank.

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Deutsche Bank believes that GM’s mobility business is worth about $30 billion, a valuation that Lache described as “too big to ignore.” He expects GM to eventually “see the merits” of spinning off its venture into new technologies, including self-driving vehicles and ride-sharing services.

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