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Ford (F) suspends dividend and withdraws guidance amid coronavirus concerns

Ford plans to give an update on the full-year guidance in April when it reports first quarter 2020 earnings results

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) announced a set of initiatives to maintain its financial flexibility amid the prevailing uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. These steps include the suspension of its dividend, withdrawal of its guidance and utilising its entire credit facility.

The company plans to borrow $13.4 billion under its corporate credit facility and $2 billion under its supplemental credit facility, bringing the total to $15.4 billion, which will be used to offset the temporary impacts from production stoppages and to maintain financial flexibility. At the end of 2019, Ford had $22 billion in cash and $35 billion in liquidity.

Ford suspended its dividend and withdrew its FY2020 guidance given at the time of its fourth quarter 2019 earnings announcement. The company had guided for adjusted EPS of $0.94 to $1.20 at the time. Ford now plans to give an update on the full-year guidance in April when it reports its first quarter 2020 earnings results.

Ford also decided to stop production at its plants in North America and Europe for the time being due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The company, along with its US dealers, is also offering payment relief for six months to its new-car buyers. Ford has offered to pay for three months and allow payment deferrals for three more months for customers who buy its 2019 and 2020 model-year vehicles.

Ford’s shares were down over 5% in midday trade on Thursday. The stock has dropped 47% over the past one month.

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