Ford follows GM with new profit forecast, UAW strike cost tally

Ford Motor  (F) – Get Free Report shares edged higher Thursday after the carmaker followed General Motors  (GM) – Get Free Report in reinstating its full-year profit forecasts while noting it will lose around $1.7 billion from impact of the United Autoworkers Union strike that ended late last month.

Ford said it sees full-year profits in the region of $10 billion to $10.5 billion, down from its July estimate of between $11 billion and $12 billion, with free cash flow improving to between $5 billion and $5.5 billion.

Ford, which reached a deal with the UAW on October 26 that will see members receive a 25% pay increase, including an initial boost of around 11% and a further 30% increase in cost-of-living adjustment payments, said the contract will add $8.8 billion in costs over the four-and-a-half year contract.

GM pegged the overall cost increase for it UAW deal, which also boosted pay by around 25%, at around $9.3 billion.

“This industry is going through the biggest technology-led transformation we’ve ever seen and some companies, new and old, are going to be left behind,” said Ford CFO John Lawler. “Ford+ is the right strategy to win – we’ve got a highly talented team that allocates capital with great discipline, so that we’re executing with consistency, generating strong growth and profitability, and are less cyclical.” 

Ford shares were marked 0.4% higher in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $10.63 each, a move that would trim the stock’s six-month decline to around 11%. 

Related: General Motors surges on dividend boost, $10 billion buyback, new profit outlook

GM said the six-week UAW strike would would clip around $1.1 billion from the group’s bottom line, but, like at Ford, would ultimately improve free cash flows thanks in part to strike-related shutdowns at various facilities around the country.

GM said it now sees full-year adjusted profits in the region of $11.7 billion to $12.7 billion, down from its prior forecast of $12 billion to $14 billion. Diluted earnings, GM said, would likely come in between $7.20 and $7.70 per share, compared to its prior range of between $7.15 and $8.15 per share.

The carmaker also said it would boost its quarterly dividend by 33%, to 12 cents per share, starting in 2024 while immediately retiring $6.8 billion in GM stock through its new $10 billion buyback.

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