Ford reportedly plans more job cuts
Automaker's acceleration of cost savings could mean loss of additional posts, elimination of more benefits, newspaper says.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Ford Motor Co. may announce deeper job cuts as it tries to trim more costs in the face of a disappointing second-quarter loss.
The nation's No. 2 automaker had already reported 4,000 salaried staff cuts and plans to trim 30,000 hourly jobs as it closes 14 factories in the coming years.
But on July 20, when Ford (Charts) reported a loss of 3 cents a share from continuing operations rather than a profit of 14 cents a share forecast by Wall Street, Chairman and CEO Bill Ford said cost-cutting plans would be accelerated.
The Detroit News reported Wednesday that high-level Ford employees are being told that additional steps under consideration include further headcount reductions, cuts to employee benefits and additional plant actions.
The paper reports that Ford is aiming to reduce costs in product development and manufacturing operations and review capital investments.
Merrill Lynch analyst John Murphy upgraded Ford on Tuesday to a "neutral" rating from his previous "sell" recommendation. He said part of the reason for the upgrade is his expectations of further job cuts.
Murphy wrote in a note to clients that the current job cut plan at Ford "is currently a repeat of the old revitalization. However, it is on the verge of being accelerated with the update expected by mid September. We believe the key is accelerating headcount reduction."
Murphy also said he believes that most of the bad news for Ford was already priced into the stock.
The upgrade from Merrill Lynch lifted shares of Ford 23 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $6.59 in Tuesday trading. Shares are up nearly 1 percent in heavy trading in Frankfurt early Wednesday.
Related: Ford to cut 30,000 jobs.