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Why Shares of Ford Motor Are Falling Again Today

By John Rosevear - Mar 23, 2020 at 12:36PM

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The company announced more factory shutdowns this morning.

What happened

Shares of Ford Motor (F 2.25%) were falling on Monday, down about 5.1% as of 11:30 a.m. EDT, after the company said that it will close more factories and an influential analyst cut his price target for the automaker.

So what

Ford said on Monday that it has shut down its factories in India, South Africa, Thailand, and Vietnam as the coronavirus pandemic intensifies in those regions. 

Ford Ranger pickups move down the production line at Ford's Silverton Assembly Plant in South Africa.

Ford's factory in Silverton, South Africa, joined a long list of idled Ford plants this morning. Image source: Ford Motor.

A total of eight factories are affected. 

Ford's decision to shut down plants in its International Markets Group follows last week's moves to close factories in Europe, the U.K., and North America. The company's decisions to close plants are in response to worker concerns about safety, as well as the need to reduce production as consumers stay away from dealerships. Health authorities in much of the world are urging citizens to practice "social distancing" to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Separately, in a note on Monday morning, Barclays analyst Brian Johnson cut his price target for Ford to $4 from $9. He maintains a hold rating on the stock.

Now what

Ford should have plenty of cash to weather this shutdown. The company suspended its dividend and drew down $15.4 billion from its credit lines last week, in a bid to bolster its balance sheet. That adds to an already-hefty reserve: Ford had $22.3 billion in cash available as of Dec. 31, its most recent report.  

Ford is not seeking a bailout from the United States government at this time. 

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