A 5-cent quarterly dividend will be given to Ford Motor Co. shareholders on March 1 – representing their first payout since September 2006. Ford, the second-largest automaker in the United States, makes this move after it reported earnings of $1.65 billion in the third quarter that ended in September. This is the tenth straight quarter that Ford has been profitable.
Ford has recently entered a four-year deal with the United Auto Workers that affects 40,600 of its hourly workers in the U.S. In a statement, Ford said that this dividend will be given to shareholders of record on Jan. 31.
In this statement, Executive Chairman Bill Ford said that the board considers it important to share with shareholders the gains that it has had from the improvements in its financial performance. He added that providing dividends is an “important sign” of progress in a company that increases its profits as well as its confidence.
Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally was able to revive Ford by concentrating on the fuel economy and quality of its new models like the Fiesta subcompact and Explorer sport-utility vehicle, which was redesigned. In the past couple of years, Ford has recorded earnings of $9.28 billion.
It had lost $30.1 billion during the period from 2006 through 2008 with the drop in sales being followed by the global financial crisis. In New York, Ford’s shares fell by 3 percent to $10.75 at its closing.
Shares fell 36 percent this year after increasing 68 percent in 2010. In a recent conference call, Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth said that this payout will cost Ford about $200 million a quarter. Booth said that Ford aims to avoid reducing the dividend if the economy suffers like in the past. But he asserts that Ford has significantly restructured the company and its break-even is lower than it had been in the past.
Months ago, Ford marked the 35th anniversary of the Fiesta by unveiling a new special version. Dugged as Ford Fiesta Sports Special Edition, this model is not only more distinctive in terms of styling and but is also sportier in terms of performance.
As its core, the Ford Fiesta Special Edition is powered by a 1.6-liter Duratec Ti-VCT petrol mill that can provide up to 134 hp of max output at 6,700 rpm and 160 Nm of peak torque at 4,250 rpm.
Offered as a three-door model riding on Panther Black alloy 17-inch wheels, the Fiesta Sport Special Edition comes with a complete styling kit as well as with lowered side skirts and unique spoilers for the front bumper and the rear hatch. [source: Autonews]