Shares of Ford Motor Co. (F) fell 7.8% toward an 11-year low in premarket trading Thursday, after the automaker said it was suspending its dividend, in an effort to perserve cash and financial flexibility during the coronavirus health crisis. The company's quarterly dividend was 15 cents a share, which based on Wednesday's closing prices implied a dividend yield of 13.33%, compared with the implied yield on the S&P 500 of 2.54%. Ford announced other measures to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including fully drawing on its credit lines, giving it $15.4 billion of additional cash; withdrawing its 2020 financial guidance; and implementing a 3-month payment deferral for eligible new-car buyers in the U.S., plus three more months paid by Ford. "Like we did in the Great Recession, Ford is managing through the coronavirus crisis in a way that safeguards our business, our workforce, our customers and our dealers during this vital period," said Chief Executive Jim Hackett. Kudos to Benchmark analyst Michael Ward, who wrote in a note to distributed to clients earlier that he expected Ford to suspend its dividend. Ford's stock has tumbled 52.2% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has declined 25.2%.
-Tomi Kilgore; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 19, 2020 09:16 ET (13:16 GMT)
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