Ford Motor Co. reported Wednesday that it lost $3.1 billion in the first quarter, weighed down by its investment in an electric-vehicle startup, and as its revenue slid because a shortage of chips limited the supply of pickups and SUVs in North America.
Company executives pointed away from the loss and toward results that excluded the lower value of its stake in Rivian. Ford said that it made $2.3 billion in pretax profit and is still on track to hit its full-year target for that measurement.
Chief Financial Officer John Lawler said the quarter produced mixed results.
“Clearly the demand for our new products is very strong,” Lawler said, “yet we continue to have issues with supply of chips, which constrained us, and in particular here in North America, it hit us disproportionately on our large vehicles.”
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Chip shortage closes factories again
The chip shortage has caused Ford and General Motors to close multiple North American factories for a week or two at a time, including plants that build popular full-size pickups.
GM on Tuesday reported a net profit of $2.9 billion for the quarter, nearly flat compared with $3 billion in the year-ago first quarter.
Ford said it sold 966,000 vehicles in the first quarter, down 9% from a year earlier.
Lawler said the company also faced inflationary pressure from suppliers, but it was able to recover that in higher vehicle prices. He said he couldn’t rule out “additional pricing” if inflation continues to run high.
Electric truckmaker loss
The first-quarter loss of $3.11 billion compared with a profit of $3.26 billion in the same period last year. Revenue skidded 9% lower than a year ago, to $34.48 billion. Ford said it earned 38 cents a share in the latest quarter after adjusting to exclude one-time items.
Ford’s stake in Rivian, an electric truckmaker with which Ford once planned to co-develop a pickup, was valued at $5.1 billion on March 31, down from $10.6 billion at the end of 2021, the company’s news release said.
Analysts expected Ford to earn an adjusted 37 cents per share on revenue of $34.53 billion, according to a FactSet survey.
The company based in Dearborn, Michigan, stood by its target of achieving full-year earnings before interest and taxes of $11.5 billion to $12.5 billion.
The shares rose 3% in after-hours trading after gaining 1% during the regular session.