Ford Motor Co.’s eye-watering $2 billion loss for the year and its mixed quarter led to at least one stock downgrade, along with plenty of criticism.
late Thursday reported a mixed fourth quarter, missing earnings expectations but beating the revenue forecast. The yearly loss, however, loomed large. The stock plunged more than 6% after the results and was down another 6% on Friday.
Don’t miss: Ford logs $2 billion loss in 2022, says profit was left ‘on the table’
“We expected to get a messy [fourth quarter]” in both the company’s message and guidance, “and we got a messy [full-year] report on top of that,” Chris McNally at Evercore ISI said in a note Friday. The analyst kept his neutral rating on Ford’s stock.
The stock is likely to remain rangebound in the near term until investors get more clarity from executives at Ford, McNally said.
Emmanuel Rosner at Deutsche Bank lowered his rating on Ford’s stock to sell, saying that Ford’s 2023 guidance is “aggressive,” showcases “considerable operational shortfalls and suggest[s] meaningful downside risk to earnings trajectory.”
He added: “We also worry about its limited visibility into its supply base.”
Ford blamed the miss on supply-chain hiccups and poor execution, with Chief Executive Jim Farley saying the company has “deeply entrenched issues” in its industrial system that “have proven tough to root out.”
BofA Securities analyst John Murphy was also concerned about the 2023 guidance, saying that it appears “optimistic” in light of the persistent supply-chain issues that Ford faced through the end of last year.
Murphy gave Ford a vote of confidence, however.
“Ford is aggressively repositioning its business model,” he said, keeping his buy rating on the stock. “We believe the company has a long way to go, but in spite of short-term hiccups we anticipate management will make great strides on the plan.”
Citi’s Itay Michaeli noted that General Motors Co.
which reported earlier in the week, easily beat Wall Street expectations and provided guidance well above the forecast.
It is “tricky” to compare Ford’s and GM’s cost outlooks, since Ford is coming off a higher 2022 base that contributed to the quarterly miss, Michaeli said.
“However, it does appear that Ford’s structural costs (ex. pension) are poised to increase this year on continued investments, whereas GM is looking to reduce structural costs in 2023/4,” the analyst said.
Shares of Ford have lost about 34% in the last 12 months, compared with losses of around 7% for the S&P 500