Monday, October 23, 2006

Ford takes a beating...

Ford Reports Loss of $5.8 Billion in 3rd Quarter

Just a terribly ugly quarter for the US' second largest auto maker. New CEO Alan R. Mulally put it bluntly, saying, "Let me make it clear — these results are unacceptable." And the current turn-around plan doesn't look to pay any benefits soon:

“Without giving any specific guidance, the profits will be worse in the fourth quarter than in the third,” Mr. Leclair said, later clarifying that he was referring to operating income. Several minutes after he made that remark, Ford’s stock, which had been trading a few cents above last week’s close, fell sharply.

Early this afternoon, Ford’s shares were trading down 14 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $7.87 on the New York Stock Exchange.

In the third quarter, Ford’s continuing operations lost $1.2 billion, or 62 cents a share, roughly what analysts had expected.

The losses in Ford’s North American operations were $800 million more than a year earlier. The company’s Premier Automotive Group, which includes the European brands Jaguar and Land Rover, lost $593 million, five and a half times more than last year.
Those numbers, while dismal, did not surprise analysts, who expected the company’s performance to be far worse than a year earlier, when it lost $284 million.
Things are just ugly for US Auto. GM recently turned down the opportunity to work with Carlos Ghosn - who has effectively turned around both Renault and Nissan. Now, Ghosn may begin to eye Ford a little closer.

Ford had been seen as a potential partner for Nissan and Renault, which spent the summer exploring an alliance with General Motors. After those talks ended abruptly earlier this month, Carlos Ghosn, the chief executive of both Nissan and Renault, said he was still interested in collaborating with a company in North America.
Related prior posts:
Black October for US Auto...
More Shakeups in US Auto...
GM pushing Union on Healthcare cuts...
The China Syndrome...

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