Ford has a new, post-strike outlook for full-year 2023 operating results – and absolute confidence in and commitment to the long-term potential of its Ford+ plan to generate growth and value.
Those are the primary messages that Ford CFO John Lawler will deliver in remarks this morning at the Barclays Global Automotive and Mobility Tech Conference. Lawler is scheduled to speak at 10:10 a.m. ET in a session hosted by Barclays analyst Dan Levy.
Ford withdrew 2023 financial guidance in late October during the UAW strike of certain U.S. operations. With a new labor agreement since reached and ratified, the company is providing updated financial expectations.
Lawler will say that Ford now anticipates full-year 2023 adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of $10.0 billion to $10.5 billion. That would include $1.7 billion in strike-related lost profits – $1.6 billion of that from the fourth quarter – owing to interruptions in production of high-margin trucks and SUVs and, in turn, vehicle wholesales about 100,000 units lower than planned.
Ford generated $4.9 billion of net income and $9.4 billion in adjusted EBIT through the first three quarters of the year, prior to full effects of the work stoppage.
Full-year 2023 adjusted free cash flow is expected to be between $5.0 billion and $5.5 billion.
What hasn’t changed, Lawler will say at the Barclays event, is Ford’s conviction in the Ford+ plan to build an automaker that thrives at the intersection of hardware, software and services in a rapidly evolving industry.
“This industry is going through the biggest technology-led transformation we’ve ever seen and some companies, new and old, are going to be left behind,” Lawler said before the conference. “Ford+ is the right strategy to win – we’ve got a highly talented team that allocates capital with great discipline, so that we’re executing with consistency, generating strong growth and profitability, and are less cyclical.”
Lawler will describe how Ford’s customer-centered businesses – Ford Blue for gas and hybrid vehicles, Ford Model e for electric vehicles, and Ford Pro for commercial customers – provide for transparency, flexibility, accountability, disciplined capital allocation and increasingly differentiated performance. Customers of all three of the businesses will benefit from Ford’s emerging software and services capabilities.
The new U.S. labor agreement with the UAW is expected to cost $8.8 billion over the life of the contract, with gross wages, accelerated wage progression and cost of living adjustments representing the largest three elements of that total. Lawler said again that the cost effect is anticipated to be about $900 per vehicle by 2028 – or about 60 to 70 basis points of adjusted EBIT margin – which Ford will work to offset through higher productivity and lower expenses.
Ford plans to report fourth-quarter and full-year 2023 financial results – and provide initial guidance about its financial expectations for full-year 2024 – after the close of business on Tuesday, Feb. 6.