Ford Motor Co.'s earnings in 2011 won't be hurt by an increase in the company's pension costs, said Mark Fields, the automaker's president for the Americas.
Ford's cash contribution to its Dearborn, Mich.-based pension plan next year won't change from what the company already had planned, Mr. Fields told reporters Thursday following a speech in Southfield, Mich. The contribution will be about $1.5 billion next year, the same as in 2010, said John Stoll, a Ford spokesman.
A research report by Credit Suisse Group on Wednesday forecast Ford's earnings per share could decline 18% next year partly because of increased pension expenses. Christopher Ceraso, a Credit Suisse auto analyst who rates Ford “underperform,” predicted the automaker's shares would fall to $11 in the next 12 months. The stock closed at $12.34 at the end of trading Thursday.
“We expect our pension expenses for 2011 would increase moderately,” Mr. Fields said during a speech before the Society of Automotive Analysts. “As we look forward to 2011, we continue to see improved performance.”