American consumers still love a Ford (NYSE:F). Overseas, however, the automaker is struggling to regain its traction, as was apparent from its lackluster fourth-quarter report.
In this segment from the Motley Fool Money podcast, host Chris Hill and Fool senior analysts Aaron Bush, Ron Gross, and Jason Moser run through the various moves that Ford is making to get back on track -- among them, a multiyear global restructuring and a major cost-cutting effort -- and consider the road ahead for the company and its CEO.
A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on Jan. 25, 2019.
Chris Hill: Ford Motors sales in the fourth quarter were strong in North America. Unfortunately for shareholders, Ford also sales vehicles in other parts of the world, and that's not going very well these days, Ron.
Ron Gross: No. Is there any reason to get excited about owning a stock like Ford or GM? I have a hard time coming up with one, unless you get into the value investing argument. In this case, there's too much that you would need to bet on. They've got to really turn this business around. The restructuring is ongoing around the globe, China, Europe. They're getting bigger on trucks and SUVs in the U.S. There's an $11 billion restructuring overseas, it's going to take several years to complete that. Who knows how successful it'll be? They're cutting $25 billion in costs by 2020.
There's a lot to come here. It's hard to say what's going to happen. They declined to give profit guidance for 2019, but they tried to dance around and make some comments, which left investors a little unpleased, unfulfilled. This is one, I'd watch it and take some interest in it, but I would not want to own it.
Hill: I'm not saying he's necessarily on the hot seat, but Jim Hackett's been the CEO of Ford Motor for about a year and a half. The stock's down 20% during that time. It really seems like if that guy and his executive team have any rabbits that they can pull out of their respective hats, this would be the year to do it.
Gross: Yeah, but it's tough to do that. You take the reins of something that's kind of a mess, and you have to set up expectations, where you say, "I'm going to come in here and do my best, but you have to give me several years because I can't turn something like this on a dime."
Jason Moser: Any chance these guys go knocking back on Alan Mullaly's door at one point or another? "Hey, are you interested in part two?"
Gross: [laughs] You never know!
Chris Hill has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Jason Moser has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Ron Gross has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Ford. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.