Ford Beats Sales, Profit Estimates While Dropping 2020 Target

(Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co., beset by an investor exodus as it initiates an $11 billion overhaul, showed improvement in its North American operations while jettisoning its goal to reach an 8 percent pretax profit margin by 2020.

  • Adjusted earnings dropped to 29 cents a share in the third quarter from 44 cents a year earlier as Ford races to update an aging lineup, while pouring billions into robot rides and car sharing. The results beat the average estimate of 28 cents a share.

Key Insights

  • Dropping the margin target was a quick change of heart for Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett -- the target had just been set in the first quarter. Ford blames rising costs, uncertainty for the industry and worsening conditions in Europe and China.
  • The jump to $34.7 billion in automotive revenue beat estimates but was mainly because of buyers’ appetite for more expensive vehicles with higher trim levels.
  • The cash cow F-Series pickup continued to haul in the bulk of the profit as the average purchase prices rise. Ford announced plans in April to stop selling sedans in America.
  • There were losses again in Europe, where the U.K.’s planned move out of the European Union has caused disruption, and in Asia Pacific, where Ford’s China lineup of cars is aging and it has too few SUVs to sell.

Market Reaction

  • The shares rose 5.3 percent to $8.61 in after-hours trading in New York. The stock has been at a nine-year low as analysts and investors demand more details on Hackett’s $11 billion restructuring plan, which will include salaried staff cuts.

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  • Ford’s nascent business in self-driving cars and other mobility services lost $196 million in the third quarter after a $181 million loss in the second quarter. The automaker began breaking out results for its mobility unit this year.
  • North American pretax profit was $2 billion, up about $100 million from the year-earlier quarter.
  • Company statement.
Ford Beats Sales, Profit Estimates While Dropping 2020 Target

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