The infamous European financial woes have yet again claimed another victim. Automobile big wig, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), has plunged remarkably, posting a 57% fall in earnings for the 2nd Q. The ballooning losses in the European market, overshadowed the strong North American performance. This inevitably led to a dip in overall performance.
Ford actually reports that its operating margin dropped from 7 percent in 2011’s second quarter, to 4.9 percent this fiscal year. Revenue was not spared either, as it dropped from $35.5 billion to $33.3 billion on a year-over-year basis.
Interestingly, the performance in America was a complete foil of what was recorded in Europe. European stakeholders were struck with disappointment, as sales figures plunged, hitting a record low. Apparently, sales have never been this low ever since 1995. The European market was quite rickety, as the automobile behemoth posted pre-tax losses of $404 million. Looking at the west, the performance demonstrated candid disparity, as the North American market gleaned pre-tax profits of $2.01 billion, presenting a 5.3 percent increase.
Surprisingly, Ford already knew that the European market would bring in losses. In fact, it is prepared to lose more than $1 billion this year in Europe. In the same breath, analysts have given their suggestions, citing that it would be in order if Ford’s European wing closed some plants to tighten up on its production capacity.
While most people are advocating for cutting production capacity, it extends one major drawback; tightening up on production capacity is not only expensive but also time consuming. As such, Ford and General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) (which is also being affected by the Europe’s economy) will have to continue reeling in the extreme effects of Sovereign debt crisis and eroded consumer confidence in Europe.
In a statement issued by Ford, the company noted that its disappointing performance was traceable to structural challenges, as opposed to cyclic challenges. Ford further exclaimed that despite its dominant disposition in the European market, it had the necessary know-how on how to get back in rail and make profits again.
While Ford has not taken any big steps to amend the situation, Chief Financial Officer, Bob Shanks, confirmed that the company had pushed forward with a few short term steps. By enforcing shorter working days and hiring temporary workers, Ford believes that it will improve on the situation.
Morgan Stanley analysts on Monday, pointed out that Ford’s decision makers were losing patience with Europe, remarking that it was the right thing to do.
While Shanks did not give into requests of revealing the specific restructuring steps, he did accent that the company was approaching the situation with the urgency it deserved.
Ford’s stock dipped trading at $8.95 on Wednesday. This marked its lowest point ever since December 2009.