Ford’s executive chairman asked investors to be patient regarding the automaker’s languishing stock price.
Although Ford had 15 straight profitable quarters, it’s been two years since its share price has lagged the S&P 500’s gains. The stock on Thursday afternoon was $14.22, showing little change.
“Just hang with us,” Bill Ford said in response to two questions about the company’s stock. “Our performance has been pretty good.”
Ford CEO Alan Mulally reiterated the company’s record margins and record, and also its turnaround plan in the European market, even if the company expects to lose $2 billion in the region this year due to the economic crisis. CFO Robert Shanks also asked shareholders to take into consideration Ford’s growth outside the US and its heavy investments in Asia, which will begin to pay off and shrink Ford’s dependence in the US.
“So just a little more time and you’ll see all parts of the company humming quite nicely,” Shanks told shareholders.
Ford reported first quarter net income up 15% to $1.6 billion, due to record profits in North America, which offset weakness in South America and Europe. Ford managed to surpass Wall Street analysts’ estimations of 37 cents per share, reaching 40 cents per share, an increase from 35 per share during the same period last year.