Ford, GM profits fall as sales drop due to chip shortage

DETROIT , -- Global computer chip shortages have impacted third quarter profits at Ford and its crosstown rival General Motors. Both companies had to temporarily close their factories in order to get supplies for dealer lots.

Ford, GM profits fall as sales drop due to chip shortage

DETROIT , -- Global computer chip shortages have impacted third quarter profits at Ford and its crosstown rival General Motors. Both companies had to temporarily close their factories in order to get supplies for dealer lots.

Ford's net income, $1.83 billion, fell 23% compared to a year ago. GM's profit decreased 40% to $2.4 billion. The sting of lower sales was eased by high prices for pickup trucks and large SUVs sold by the automakers.

Ford reported its results on Wednesday after the closing bell. It stated that it will resume paying 10 cents per share in dividends starting in the fourth quarter. The company will be paying about $400 million each quarter. Ford stock rose 7.5% after-market trading.

According to the company, its revenue fell 5% to $35.68 Billion from a year earlier. This was below Wall Street's estimates of $38.2 trillion.

The Dearborn, Michigan company earned 51 cents per share excluding one-time items. This beats the 27 cents predicted by FactSet analysts.

In the United States, Ford's sales dropped 27% between July and September. This is its most lucrative market. The U.S. market share of Ford also fell by 2.4 percentage points, mainly because it couldn't produce enough cars to meet demand.

Edmunds.com reports that the average Ford vehicle sold for over $51,000 in the fourth quarter, an increase of almost 13% over the previous year.

John Lawler, Ford's Chief Financial Officer, stated that the company has the cash and income necessary to invest in electric cars and related services. He stated that Ford is confident about the future of its business.

He said, "That's giving us the financial flexibility we need to fully fund our plan as well as all of our capital needs." "We are also focused on total shareholder returns. This includes not just appreciating stock prices but also dividends.

Lawler stated that Ford's products are in strong demand, which the company cannot meet due to the shortage of chips. He said that Ford could sell around 200,000 Mustang Mach-E electric SUVs annually globally.

According to him, the chip shortage should be less severe from October through December. Dealer sales should increase 10% in this quarter compared to the previous. He said that although supplies will increase, the shortage will persist into next year, and possibly into 2023.

Ford increased its full-year pretax earnings outlook from $10.5 billion to $11.5 billion. It also announced that it will make capital investments between $40 billion and $45 billion in 2020-2025. This includes $15 billion for battery-electric vehicles.

Lawler warned, however, that the company will face higher freight and material costs. He said that commodity costs like steel will rise by $3 billion to $3.5 Billion this year and $1.5 billion next.

GM's earnings dropped from $4 billion to $4 billion last year due to slumped sales and a loss of market share in the U.S. (which is also its most profitable nation). The quarter's revenue plunged 25% to $26.78 million.

Mary Barra, GM CEO, stated on a conference phone with analysts that she was "pretty certain" that Cruise, GM's autonomous vehicle subsidiary based in San Francisco, would soon be able to transport passengers without the use of human safety drivers. Cruise needs to obtain a final permit from California regulators in order to do this.

Barra told reporters Wednesday that the company was also affected by the global shortage in semiconductors and COVID outbreaks at its supplier factories during the third quarter. She said that the situation is still volatile.

GM however, is reporting improvement in the quarter and anticipates more supplies in the first three-months of 2022.

GM stated that it anticipates producing about 200,000 fewer vehicles than the first half of the year. The majority of the impact will occur from July through September.

Barra stated that she has spoken to the CEOs of major chip manufacturers and they are currently working together on strategies to prevent future shortages. She said, "I believe we'll see changes to ensure that we have the right supply."

GM's profit was achieved despite the fact that U.S. sales for the third quarter were 33% less than a year ago. Edmunds stated that the company lost 3.8 percent of its U.S. market share.

Barra stated that GM's market share will rebound when normal production resumes. "We sell everything we can. She said, "I wish we had more cars."

GM's cash flow was maintained by the willingness of consumers to pay high prices for rare new vehicles. Edmunds stated that the average sale price for a GM car was $50,000, an increase of more than 16% over the previous year. Barra stated that prices will drop once supply increases.

GM raised its full-year net profit guidance to $8.1 billion to $9.6 trillion, based on the anticipated increase in chip supply. It had projected $7.7 billion to 9.2 billion in the second quarter.

Wednesday's close of GM shares was 5.4% lower at $54.26.

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