Ford to reinstate dividend in the fourth quarter

DETROIT — Ford Motor will reinstate its regular dividend starting in the fourth quarter, more than a year and a half after suspending the payments during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ford said the fourth-quarter dividend of 10 cents per share on outstanding common and Class B stock will be paid on Dec. 1 to shareholders at the close of business Nov. 19. The company announced the dividend Wednesday when it released its third-quarter earnings, which beat Wall Street’s expectations.

Ford shares jumped by more than 9% during after-hours trading. The stock closed Wednesday down by 2.7% to $15.51 a share.

“The strength of the business gives us the confidence to reinstate the dividend at this point,” CFO John Lawler told reporters Wednesday during a call.

Lawler said the company is not capital-constrained and is confident it can finance an aggressive turnaround plan, which it calls Ford+. The plan includes investing billions in electric and autonomous vehicles as well as paying the dividend.

The quarterly cost of the dividend will be about $400 million, according to Lawler.

Ford was quick to cut the dividend to shore up cash as the coronavirus pandemic caused the automaker to shutter plants and dealerships last year to stop the spread of Covid.

General Motors, which cut its dividend a month after Ford, has not reinstated its dividend.

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