Ford Motor ended 2021 with $36 billion in cash, a crop of hot-selling new electric vehicles (EVs) and a bullish forecast for revenue and profit growth this year, but shares still fell on Thursday.
The stock dipped as much as 5% in after-hours trading after the vehicle manufacturer’s fourth-quarter income fell short of analysts’ expectations.
Ford projected that earnings will grow as much as 25% this year, bolstered by higher pricing, but management warned about “ongoing” supply-chain disruptions.
The carmaker posted adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of $10 billion on revenue of $136 billion in 2021, missing the $10.5–$11.5 billion range it projected in the third quarter.
Ford expects that figure to be between $11.5 billion and $12.5 billion for this year.
The results come a week after Ford and its Chinese partner Jiangling Motors Corporation (JMC) announced the establishment of a joint venture to build vehicles for Ford’s passenger vehicle business in China.
The new JV – called Jiangling Ford Automobile Technology (Shanghai) – is 49% owned by Ford and 51% by JMC. Ford has a stake of 32% in JMC.
JMC Ford Technology will integrate both partners’ resources and upgrade the existing distribution channel to offer customers in China a line-up of Ford brand passenger vehicles manufactured by JMC.
Ford said operational efficiencies will enable the partners to leverage each other’s competencies to grow in the Chinese market and more effectively meet customer needs.
JMC Ford Technology will offer customers a product portfolio of passenger vehicles, including the Ford Equator Sport.
The company said fourth-quarter North American demand for its Bronco, Maverick and Mustang line-up contributed to a two-point US share gain, while its European segment took a loss because of a semiconductor shortfall.
Ford expects demand to grow as there is “strong customer appeal” for its new vehicles.
Customers have ordered or reserved more than 275,000 EVs, including the Mustang Mach-E SUVs, F-150 Lightning pickup and E-Transit commercial vehicle, Jim Farley, chief executive, said.
“We are at the very beginning of this journey [to EVs] and it’s already exciting from the profit improvement” perspective, Farley said on an earnings call.
• Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell
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