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Ford Shares Drop after Fourth Quarter Earnings

Ford Motor’s shares slid after it reported fourth-quarter earnings Thursday that significantly missed Wall Street’s earnings expectations and slightly missed on revenue. The company’s shares tumbled by more than 6% in after-hours trading. The stock closed Thursday at $19.89 a share, down by 3.6%.

While the automaker hit its annual earnings guidance for 2021, it missed production targets analysts were expecting due to supply chain problems, including an ongoing shortage of semiconductor chips. Ford North American operations, as they have been, contributed the most to the automaker’s earnings, up by 68% to $1.8 billion compared to a year earlier. International losses included $150 million in China, down 130%, and $159 million, a 139% decline, in Europe.

The company’s fourth-quarter net income swung to a $12.3 billion profit from a $2.8 billion loss during the last three months of 2020. Ford included an $8.2 billion gain on its investment in electric vehicle start-up Rivian Automotive. After backing out that and other items, like taxes, adjusted earnings came to $2.0 billion for the fourth quarter.

Its stake in Rivian also pumped full-year net income to $17.9 billion, while its operating profit was $10 billion. Lawler told investors Thursday that the investment could result in volatility in its future results. Ford owns about 12% of Rivian. Ford had $36.5 billion in cash and investments to end last year, including $10.6 billion in its Rivian stake. However, that valuation is based on Rivian’s stock at $103.69 per share. The stock closed Thursday at $60.36 a share.

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