Ford Motor Company CFO StockTwits Q&A Transcript
Ford Motor Company loves its investors.
In addition to great stock performance in 2013, Ford continues to lead the charge for transparency and engagement on the social finance web. After announcing their most recent earnings, this week Ford CFO Robert Shanks took questions from the StockTwits investor community for the second quarter in a row.
What follows is a transcript of his conversations which touched upon their recent earnings, sales trends, product pipeline, international growth, as well as the challenges being faced in their hometown of Detroit.
Thank you to the StockTwits community for all your great questions, and a big heartfelt thank you to Mr. Shanks for once again making yourself available and for sharing such great dialogue with your investors.
chicagosean: Does the Detroit bankruptcy create any unnecessary complications/costs for your operations in the area? (or even opportunities?)
RS: No. We believe a strong Detroit is very important to our region and the country. City has difficult job ahead. We’re optimistic gov’t leaders will be successful in strengthening the community.
Portfoolio: Are customers more comfortable now splurging on higher-end vehicles and luxury options?
RS: Strong interest by customers in more features and content. Eg. Customers want connectivity; in the US, 80% of them request vehicles with SYNC or MyFord Touch.
scheplick: Is demand for trucks, specifically F-series, slowing down? Does Ford plan to focus more on lower margin car models like the Focus?
RS: F-series is #1 best-selling vehicle in U.S. Through 1H of the year, U.S. F-series sales up 22%. Ford focuses on all parts of our portfolio & future growth will be small vehicles & of course, Ford will fully participate.
jonibgood: Are you expecting higher margins, specially for smaller cars, in South America and Asia regions?
RS: Ford is expecting healthy margins on product portfolio in South America and AsiaPacific
jonibgood: What is your projected market share in China? When the facilities are completed and operating…
RS: Ford will launch 15 all-new vehicles in China by 2015. Installing capacity NOW. We expect market share to continue to grow.
noahldavis: While stock price certainly is not a focus , why do you think Ford is not valued higher and do you have an internal target for EOY?
RS: We don’t run the business on day-to-day stock price. That said, the market has seen the progress we have made as we continue to deliver on our One Ford plan. $F stock price up 91% in past 12 months.
Valview: Your ‘Fusion’ model is eye catching. Was it a strong performer this quarter?
RS: U.S. Fusion up 18% in first half of 2013. It’s a great car!
DigDugTrader: Your share of the Asian market is growing. Do you foresee impacts to sales from China’s environmental control regulations?
RS: Environment/sustainability is one of Ford’s 4 brand pillars & aligned to our brand promise. Ford will meet all environmental regulations in markets we participate in.
DigDugTrader: Can you discuss EU sales, operating cost cuts, market share growth. EU is our major concern and anything you can add is helpful.
RS: We’re very excited about progress on our EU Transformation Plan. Ford saw growth in volume, revenue, share & sales. On track with cost objectives too. See our improved guidance for Europe.
DigDugTrader: Can you elaborate on Ford Motor debt vs. Ford Credit debt and your thoughts on obtaining the S&P Investment grade rating?
RS: Ford Motor & Credit are two different businesses. Target about $10 billion of Auto debt by mid-decade and comfortable with this. Ford Credit is a finance co.; it raises debt so it can finance the purchase/lease of autos by customers and dealers. We continue to execute the One Ford plan to deliver positive results around the world for all of our stakeholders, which has been reflected in the IG ratings we have received from DBRS, Fitch, and Moody’s.
Vconomics: How large are you expecting this market (electric cars) to be in 10 years?
RS: Expect it to grow as we see improvements in infrastructure, cost, technology.
Make sure you’re following the @Ford stream on StockTwits for continued updates direct from the company.
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