Ford Motor Co. late Thursday reported a $2 billion loss for the year and mixed quarterly results, blaming “deeply entrenched” shortcomings around costs and systems that put the brakes on its hopes to become a more nimble company.
“I’ll start by addressing the obvious. Our fourth-quarter and full-year financial performance last year fell short of our potential,” Chief Executive Jim Farley said in a post-results conference call. “To say I’m frustrated is an understatement, because the year could have been so much more for us at Ford.”
earned $1.3 billion, or 32 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, compared with $12.3 billion, or $3.03 a share, in the year-ago period.
Adjusted for one-time items, the company earned 51 cents a share. Revenue rose 17% to $44 billion.
Analysts polled by FactSet expected Ford to report adjusted earnings of 62 cents a share on sales of $41.4 billion.
Ford stock fell more than 6% in extended trading after the results, holding around those levels as the call continued. It ended the regular trading day up 3.8%.
“We have deeply entrenched issues in our industrial system that have proven tough to root out,” Farley said.
Ford announced a reorganization last March, carving out its EV business and setting up business lines for its legacy conventionally powered vehicles and for its vans and other commercial vehicles.
As with “any transformation of this magnitude,” some parts moved faster than others, even though he remains optimistic about the plan, Farley told investors.
For 2023, Ford guided for between $9 billion to $11 billion in EBIT, but cautioned that headwinds included a potential “mild” recession in the U.S. and a “moderate” recession in Europe, higher customer incentives for the industry as a whole, and a “continued” strong dollar.
Catalysts, however, include supply-chain improvements and higher industry volumes as well as lower costs for commodities, logistics and other aspects of the business, it said.
The auto maker declared a first-quarter regular dividend of 15 cents a share and a supplemental dividend of 65 cents a share, saying that the supplemental dividend reflected the monetization of Ford’s stake in EV startup Rivian Automotive Inc.
That unwinding began in May and “now is nearly complete,” Ford said.
The company said it will hold an investor event on March 23, which it dubbed a “teach-in” about the new structure.
Ford said Monday that it was “significantly increasing” production of its Mustang Mach-E electric SUV in 2023 and lowering prices.
The Mach-E was the No. 3 best-selling EV model in the U.S. in 2022, “and the updated pricing is part of Ford’s plan to keep the SUV competitive in a rapidly changing market,” Ford said at the time.
earlier this month slashed prices of several of its models, including its cheaper Model Y compact SUV and Model 3 sedan, in the U.S. and in several European countries by between 6% and 20%.
which reported fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday, and Chief Executive Mary Barra said the auto maker did not plan on lowering its prices, saying GM cars are priced “right where they need to be.”
See also: Tesla and Ford are cutting auto prices, but GM says it won’t
Ford shares have lost about 31% in the last 12 months, compared with losses of around 9% for the S&P 500 index