Mutual funds and other large stockholders may rebalance auto sector holdings after General Motors Co's initial public offering, but day-to-day stock prices are not the main measure of Ford Motor Co's turnaround, Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford said on Friday.
Just mathematically a lot of mutual funds and other investment entities will probably spread their investment out over the sector more, Ford said on the sidelines of an industry event sponsored by Detroit radio station WWJ.
GM, the largest U.S. automaker, filed a prospectus with U.S. securities regulators for an IPO that could be among the biggest ever for a U.S. company and would allow the U.S. government to begin to sell its stake in the automaker.
Ford has been the only publicly traded U.S. automaker since GM emerged from bankruptcy in July 2009, owned nearly 61 percent by the U.S. government. Eliminating the government stake in GM is critical for the automaker and the Obama administration.
To the extent that we have been the only one available in the sector, I'm sure that some money will be rebalanced into GM, Ford told reporters.
Ford posted a net profit in 2009 and expects to be solidly profitable this year and to build on the 2010 profits next year. The GM IPO filing comes barely a year after the bankruptcy and after two consecutive quarterly profits.
Ford mortgaged nearly all of its remaining assets, including its blue oval logo, in 2006 to raise cash for the turnaround and has a higher debt load than GM and Chrysler. The automaker is ahead of schedule in cutting its debt load, Ford said.
It doesn't make any difference to me where our shares are or their shares are any given day, Ford said. The question is is our business moving in the right direction, generating earnings and cash flow, and if we do that over time we will be in great shape.
(Reporting by David Bailey, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)