Ford reports $1.7 billion quarterly loss, shares tumble

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Ford Motor Co. shares fell as much as 11% in the extended session Tuesday after the U.S. auto maker missed adjusted profit expectations and posted a GAAP loss for its fourth quarter.

Ford F, +2.23%  said it lost $1.7 billion, or 42 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of $100 million, or 3 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The GAAP loss included a previously disclosed $2.2 billion charge related to pensions.

Adjusted for one-time items, Ford said it gained 12 cents a share, compared with 30 cents a share a year ago. Revenue fell 5% to $39.7 billion from $41.8 billion a year ago.

Analysts polled by FactSet had expected the auto maker to report adjusted earnings of 17 cents a share on sales of $39.6 billion. The analysts had seen a GAAP profit of 15 cents a share for the quarter.

”Financially, the company’s 2019 performance was short of our original expectations, mostly because our operational execution — which we usually do very well — wasn’t nearly good enough. We recognize, take accountability for and have made changes because of this,” Chief Executive Jim Hackett said in a statement.

Ford said it was too early to estimate implications of the coronavirus outbreak in China on its bottom line this year.

It said it expected adjusted earnings between $5.6 billion to $6.6 billion for full-year 2020, assuming “nominal growth” for its automotive business offset by lower contributions from its credit arm and a “modestly higher” investment in autonomous cars.

For the first quarter, Ford said it expects adjusted earnings to be down more than $1.1 billion from the first quarter of 2019 thanks to higher warranty costs, an ongoing issue for the company, lower vehicle volumes plus the lower results from Ford Credit and the higher driverless-car investments.

Earlier Tuesday, Tesla Inc. TSLA, +13.73%   surpassed Ford as No. 1 U.S. car maker in terms of enterprise value, a metric that takes into consideration market capitalization as well as debt, cash and cash equivalents. Tesla reported fourth-quarter earnings last week.

General Motors Co. GM, +1.93%  is expected to report its quarterly numbers Wednesday before the bell, with analysts expecting GAAP and adjusted earnings of 1 cent a share on sales of $31.3 billion.

Ford shares have gained 6% in the past 12 months, lagging behind advances of 21% and 14% for the S&P 500 index SPX, +1.50%  and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.44%  .

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