Friday morning, Ford (ticker: F) stock was down again, dropping almost 6% in premarket trading to $12.60. That is a lot, but the slide is a result of a successful move the company made years ago, rather than something to worry about.
Ford declared a special dividend of 65 cents a share related to its unloading of stock in the EV startup Rivian when it reported its fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 2. Ford also pays a regular 15-cent quarterly dividend.
Ford stock went ex-dividend on Friday. That means that means only holders of the stock on Thursday qualify for the 65 cent and 15 cent dividends. The market has now adjusted for that fact by taking 75 cents off the price of Ford stock Friday morning.
There is no reason for the stock drop to exactly reflect the size of the dividends. A lot of other stuff is going on that affects Ford’s share price.
There is the overall market. Futures on the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
futures were off 0.6% and 0.4%, respectively.
There is also some concern about Ford’s financial performance. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday afternoon that Farley held a town hall meeting with employees, laying out his desire for simpler goals and performance metrics for employees.
That report follows on Farley’s lament on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call that his company left billions in profit on the table last year.
“Financial performance last year fell short of our potential and while we generated record cash flow, we left about $2 billion of profit on the table due to cost and especially continued supply chain issues,” said Farley on a conference call to discuss the earnings. “These are the simple facts and to say I’m frustrated is an understatement because the year could have been so much more for us at Ford.”
Another thing that will move car stocks on Friday is results from ride-haling company
shares were down more than 30% in premarket trading.
‘ (UBER) fleets represent a lot of commercial demand for Ford,
(GM), and even
(TSLA). It’s never good for a stock when customers struggle.
GM shares were off 0.8%.
shares fell 2% after rising 3% Thursday as the
lost about 1%.
The special dividend comes mainly as a result of Ford’s successful investment in EV startup
(RIVN), starting in 2019. Ford once held almost 100 million share of Rivian, but a Thursday filing showed that Ford had a roughly 10 million shares worth about $200 million left as of Dec. 31.
The decline in the stake isn’t a surprise. On the earnings conference call, Ford said it was done selling most of its Rivian shares.
Coming into Friday trading, Ford stock was up about 16% so far this year, compared with 23% ahead of the release of fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 2. The stock slid almost 8% after the results and is down an additional 5% since then, including Friday’s move.
Write to Al Root at [email protected]