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Old 04-25-2006, 09:42   #1 (permalink)
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US:Ford stock declines to a 3-year low

Ford stock declines to a 3-year low
Analyst lowers earnings estimate for year

BY MICHAEL ELLIS

DETROIT FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

Ford Motor Co. shares hit their lowest levels in three years, dropping nearly 5% Monday, continuing a slide after the automaker reported a $1.2-billion loss on Friday.

Ford shares slipped 36 cents to $6.96 on the New York Stock Exchange to the lowest levels since March 2003 during the start of the war in Iraq.

On Friday, Ford shares dropped nearly 8% after the Dearborn-based automaker reported its worst results in more than four years, raising concerns about its financial performance over the remainder of the year.

Ford's North American automotive operations and its Ford Credit financial services unit posted weaker-than-expected results, Wall Street analysts said.

JP Morgan analyst Himanshu Patel cut his earnings estimate for Ford this year to 40 cents per share from 50 cents per share, he said in a research note to clients. Ford's earnings in the second quarter will be hurt by cuts in production of more-profitable SUVs and pickups, as well as from pressures on vehicle prices, Patel wrote.

Competition from General Motors Corp.'s new pickups and full-size SUVs, which are being gradually rolled out this year, will also hurt Ford, he said.

Ford's U.S. auto operations reported a pre-tax loss of $457 million, excluding the costs of some one-time charges such as the Way Forward turnaround plan. Ford Credit's profits also dropped due to higher funding costs.

Ford's Way Forward plan announced in January aims to idle seven assembly and seven parts plants and lay off as many as 30,000 factory workers.

GM shares fell slightly on Monday, slipping from recent highs set last week when the automaker reported better-than-expected earnings. GM shares closed down 34 cents, or 1.56%, at $21.45 on Monday. GM shares climbed more than 10% on Thursday after its $323-million loss was narrower than Wall Street forecasts and the automaker reported strong pricing for its new lineup of large SUVs.
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My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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