What investors should know ahead of Ford’s Q4 results

Incoming Ford CEO Jim Farley (left) and Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. pose with a 2021 F-150 during an event Sept. 17, 2020 at the company’s Michigan plant that produces the pickup.

Michael Wayland | CNBC

DETROIT – Shares of Ford Motor are up about 70% since Jim Farley became CEO on Oct. 1, led largely by optimism regarding his leadership and restructuring actions.

Whether Ford’s fourth-quarter earnings and outlook for 2021 can add to the company’s recent rally will come when Ford reports its results after the market closes on Thursday. Due to costs related to new or redesigned vehicle launches toward the end of the year, the company forecast adjusted earnings for the fourth quarter to be between break even and a $500 million loss.

Average estimates of analysts compiled by Refinitive expect Ford to report a fourth-quarter loss of 7 cents a share and $33.89 billion in revenue, a 7.6% decline compared with a year earlier.

But much of the auto industry, including Ford, has outperformed Wall Street’s expectations since last spring, when Covid-19 caused rolling plant shutdowns and dealership closures globally.

Outside of Ford’s earnings and guidance, Wall Street analysts will be looking for updates surrounding the automaker’s $11 billion restructuring and EV plans. They’ll also be interested in how an ongoing global semiconductor chip shortage is impacting operations.

Here are more details on those issues as well as other things investors should know about ahead of Ford reporting its results after the market closes Thursday.

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