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Ford lowers profit forecast as US auto boom ebbs

[NEW YORK] US auto giant Ford said Thursday its first quarter earnings would come in well below analysts' expectations, as it projected industry-wide US and Chinese car sales would decline in 2017.

Ford, the second-biggest US automaker after General Motors, projected first quarter adjusted earnings of 30 to 35 cents per share, falling far short of the 47 cents expected by analysts.

But Ford said was standing by its full-year earnings estimate of US$1.64 per share, according to a presentation by chief financial officer Bob Shanks.

The company expects global auto sales to grow 1.8 per cent to 92.9 million in 2017.

However, industry-wide sales in the US are projected to decline 1.1 per cent to 17.7 million vehicles after a multi-year boom despite "solid" economic conditions in Ford's home country.

Sales in China are seen falling 1.0 per cent to 27.5 million units this year, due to receding tax cut benefits in 2017 and 2018, Ford said.


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