Bill Ford asks shareholders to be patient about lag in share price

Article by Anita Panait, on May 13, 2013

Bill Ford, the executive chairman of Ford Motor Co., urged shareholder to exercise more patience as he responded to two questions about the carmaker’s lagging stock price during the company annual meeting. It should be noted that while Ford has logged 15 profitable quarters in a row, its share price has lagged the S&P 500's gains for around two years.

As of afternoon of May 9, 2013, Ford’s stock carries a price of $14.22 apiece. During the annual meeting, Ford and company chief executive Alan Mulally highlighted record profits and margins and a turnaround plan in Europe. The carmaker, however, expects to post $2 billion in losses in Europe this year due to the current economic crisis in the region.

Ford Chief Financial Officer Robert Shanks urged shareholders to take a long view of the carmaker’s growth outside the United States. According to Shanks, heavy investment in Asia would start to bear fruit and allow Ford to depend less heavily on the US market. During the meeting, it was proposed to take away the Ford family of its 16 votes per share.

Around 33.4 percent of votes were in favor of the proposal, which the carmaker had opposed. In 2012, 29.5 percent voted for the proposal, according to Ford spokesman Jay Cooney.

Bill Ford, who is the great-grandson of founder Henry Ford, remarked that the family vote and ownership position allowed the carmaker to stay focused and “not get distracted and survive and ultimately thrive." During the meeting, Ford’s shareholders approved the board's recommended directors, executive incentive plan and expressed support for executive pay. Around 70 shareholders attended the meeting held in Wilmington, Delaware.

Topics: ford, shares

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