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Earnings Results: Ford stock rallies more than 6% after auto maker’s Q2 sales rise 50%

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Ford Motor Co. late Wednesday reported second-quarter earnings that blew past Wall Street expectations and sent the stock soaring more than 6% in after-hours trading.

Ford
F,
+5.18%

said it earned $700 million, or 16 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $600 million, or 14 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

Adjusted for one-time items, the auto maker earned 68 cents a share.

Total revenue rose 50% to $40.2 billion, from $26.8 billion a year ago, including a 57% increase in automotive revenue. The “popularity” of Ford’s line up drove the “solid” results, the company said.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected the auto maker to report adjusted earnings of 45 cents a share on sales of $36.87 billion.

“The Ford team delivered a very solid second quarter in a challenging environment,” Chief Executive Jim Farley said in a call with analysts after the results. “We saw supply-chain disruptions, new economic headwinds and uncertainty as a whole.”

On the plus side, however, “we’ve been overwhelmed for the demand or our first-generation EVs,” Farley said. “We are selling them as fast as we can make them.”

Ford was able to make 14,000 EVs globally this month, “significantly higher” than in past months. “We have a clear path to reach a run-rate 60,000 EVs by the end of next year” and from there 2 million EVs by late 2026, Farley said.

Ford also reaffirmed its guidance for the year of adjusted EBIT between $11.5 billion and $12.5 billion, which would be up between 15% and 25% from 2021.

Ford said its order bank on North America remained “robust,” with nearly all 2022 model-year vehicles sold out, including the electric F-150 Lightning pickup, which started hitting dealerships in May.

The company also guided for about $4 billion in “headwinds from commodity prices,” but the company said it expects to offset that with its pricing and mix.

The outlook also included more inflation pressure pushing costs higher, to total about $3 billion for the year and up roughly $1 billion from what Ford expected when it reported first-quarter results.

Ford also increased its dividend to 15 cents a share, payable Sept. 1 to shareholders of record on Aug. 11. “This returns us to the pre-pandemic dividend levels,” Chief Financial Officer John Lawler said in the call.

When asked by one analyst whether Ford had “too many” employees, Farley said that “we absolutely have too many people in certain places, no doubt about it. And we have skills that don’t work anymore.”

Ford has neither confirmed nor denied looming layoffs that reportedly are in the offing. Farley said on the call that Ford wants to “simplify” its internal combustion side of the business and be “as lean as possible,” and in general spend less.

Ford’s results showed that the automotive-pricing environment “remains very strong, with industry production still struggling to match strong vehicle demand,” Fitch analyst Stephen Brown said. “Strong pricing has so far offset the effect of inflation on Ford’s profitability,” Brown said.

“We expect ongoing industry production shortages and low dealer inventories to keep the pricing environment relatively favorable through the remainder of 2022, but we are keeping a close eye on rising interest rates and the strength of the broader economy. Any significant pullback in demand could start to pressure vehicle pricing and lead to a moderation in margins,” Brown said.

Earlier this week, General Motors Co.
GM,
+4.02%

reported mixed quarterly earnings and reiterated its guidance for the year, with higher costs and ongoing supply-chain problems a “clear albatross” for GM.

Tesla Inc.
TSLA,
+6.17%

reported its second-quarter results earlier this month, surprising investors with better-than-expected numbers thanks to vehicle price increases and selling of most of its bitcoin.

Shares of Ford have lost 38% so far this year, compared with losses of around 17% for the S&P 500 index
SPX,
+2.62%
.

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