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Stocks rise as focus shifts to earnings.

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Ford stock rose by more than 2% after the automaker reported fourth-quarter results that easily topped expectations. The company’s sales surged to $46 billion, which was $2 billion more than expected by Bloomberg. Ford also reported adjusted earnings per share of $0.29 and adjusted EBIT of $1.1 billion, both of which exceeded analysts’ estimates.

Looking ahead, Ford reinstated its 2023 profit outlook and projected a 2024 adjusted EBIT of $10 billion to $12 billion, indicating continued strong performance. However, the company still anticipates more losses for its electric vehicle unit despite its overall positive financial results. Ford also announced a first-quarter regular dividend of $0.15 per share and a supplemental dividend of $0.18 per share, in addition to plans to improve capital efficiency and raise expected returns for new initiatives.

According to Ford CFO John Lawler, the company aims to improve total adjusted return on invested capital from about 14% in 2023 to 20% over the next couple of years, emphasizing the company’s commitment to delivering targeted returns on all investments. This news comes following strong fourth-quarter financial results and positive profit outlooks for future years, positioning Ford as a leader in the US auto sector despite ongoing challenges.

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