Ford shares drop after 2017 profit falls short, issues disappointing 2018 earnings forecast

Key Points
  • Ford shares fell Tuesday after the company issued disappointing earnings forecasts.
  • For 2017, Ford expects to earn $1.78 on an adjusted basis.
  • For 2018, Ford sees its earnings between $1.45 and $1.70 per shares, adjusted.
  • The second-largest U.S. automaker is investing heavily in electric and autonomous cars.
Ford gives disappointing 2018 earnings guidance

Ford said Tuesday it expects to turn in 2017 earnings that are below Wall Street estimates, and provided a forecast for 2018, that will be hit by higher commodity costs and exchange rates, which will offset gains from its cost-cutting efforts.

Ford shares fell about 2 percent Tuesday in after-hours trading.

The second-largest U.S. automaker said 2017 net income is expected to be about $1.95 per share, while it should earn $1.78 per share on an adjusted basis.

According to Thomson Reuters, analysts expected Ford to earn $1.83 per share in 2017.

Meanwhile, for 2018, Ford said it expects to earn $1.45 to $1.70 per share in 2018 on an adjusted basis. Thomson Reuters said analysts on average were predicting Ford would earn $1.62 a share in 2018.

The company is in the midst of adjusting its portfolio and investing in electric and hybrid vehicles, autonomy and other new mobility technologies.

In particular Ford plans to spend $11 billion on electrification technologies by 2022. Ford expects to have a portfolio of 40 electrified vehicles globally, including 16 full battery electric vehicles by 2022.

Ford will change how it reports its finances in 2018, separating its new mobility investments, which Ford expects to incur losses in the near future.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett said at the North American International Auto Show that the company is not falling behind rival automakers or tech firms in new mobility technology.

"I am saying that Ford has nothing to worry about in terms of lagging there. Our technology is exceptional," Hackett told CNBC on Monday.

On Tuesday, the automaker also declared a $500 million, or 13 cents per share, supplemental cash dividend in addition to its regular quarterly dividend of 15 cents per share.

Largest U.S. automaker General Motors also said on Tuesday it expects 2018 earnings to be largely flat with 2017, but expects its refreshed pickup truck line to help improve profits in 2019.

GM also plans to record a $7 billion non-cash charge in its fourth-quarter 2017 earnings related to deferred tax assets tied to U.S. tax reform.

Ford said Tuesday it expects U.S. tax reform to be beneficial.

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