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Ford affirms 2017 to be less profitable than 2016
[DETROIT] Ford Motor Co on Tuesday confirmed that it would be less profitable in 2017 than last year, even as cross town rival General Motors Co on the same day gave a much more upbeat forecast that surpassed Wall Street expectations.
Ford, the second largest US automaker, affirmed that it was on track to deliver about US$10.2 billion in adjusted pretax profit in 2017, matching a forecast it gave previously.
Ford shares initially rose 0.5 per cent in extended trading but by early Tuesday evening were flat with their closing value of US$12.85. GM shares were also trading near their close of US$37.35, up 3.7 per cent from the previous day.
Ford said profit would improve in 2018 but in 2017 the company would be pressured as it increased spending on "emerging opportunities" like self-driving cars and a rise in other costs.
The company last week said it was on course to deliver a"high-volume, fully autonomous vehicle for ride sharing in 2021" and a fully electric small SUV with a range of at least 300 miles on a full charge.
GM, the largest US automaker, said it expected 2017 earnings per share in a range of US$6 to US$6.50. Analysts had, on average, predicted the company would post EPS this year of US$5.76, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Ford on Tuesday declared a first-quarter regular dividend of US$0.15 per share and a US$200 million supplemental cash dividend, or an additional US$0.05 per share. The regular dividend matched that of the first quarter of 2016, but the supplemental dividend was below the US$0.25 per share payout announced a year ago.