DionRabouin.com (sort of)

Ford Motor Co. at the BET Awards 2012

Posted in Features by dionrabouin on July 3, 2012

(Written for BLAC Magazine)

While Ye, Jay, Bey, Big Sean, Cissy Houston, Chaka Khan and Brandy may have been catching all the headlines from last night’s BET Awards 2012, one of the most prominent stars of the show was Ford Motor Company.

Ford was front and center for the fifth year of its partnership with BET, sponsoring the red carpet and its own Ford Hot Spot at the show. Ford also gave away a 2013 Escape and $1,000 cash to one lucky viewer. All the flexing and flossing on the red carpet is nice, but Detroiters want to know how the company is really doing.

The short answer: not as well as they’d like. Ford’s stock price has been dropping like it’s hot for most of this year. In fact, it is down more than $5 a share since the same time last year.

Life isn’t all stock prices, though. The company posted (pre-tax operating) profits of $2.3 billion in the first quarter of the year and a net income of $1.4 billion.

Bringing in $2.3 billion in the first quarter is certainly a step in the right direction from where Ford was when the BET sponsorship began. Back in 2008, Ford posted a $2.5 billion operating loss for the year and a pre-tax operating loss of $2.6 billion. Even that sorry figure was only possible after selling off Land Rover and Jaguar.

While Ford is certainly doing better than they were, the company is falling short of where it would like to be. In 2011, the company had a net income of more than $20 billion. If they want to get anywhere near that number this year, things are going to have to be a lot better in the second and third quarters of the year and right now that’s not looking like the case.

Ford is expecting to start showing profits in the near future from the 1,700 Dearborn workers who took early retirement buyout packages at the beginning of the year. They followed those buyouts with bonuses to 20,000 white-collar workers earlier in the year that were supposed to be 2.7 percent base pay increases.

In short, with its continued sponsorships, employee bonuses and special projects, Ford is betting pretty hard that they’ll be back and better than ever. The company’s second quarter numbers should tell us whether they’re really on track to do that.

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