January 10, 2017 / 10:51 PM / 6 months ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Ford affirms 2017 to be less profitable than 2016

2 Min Read

(In paragraph 2, corrects year to 2016 from 2017)

DETROIT, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co on Tuesday confirmed that it would be less profitable in 2017 than last year, even as cross town rival General Motors Co on the same day gave a much more upbeat forecast that surpassed Wall Street expectations.

Ford, the second largest U.S. automaker, affirmed that it was on track to deliver about $10.2 billion in adjusted pretax profit in 2016, matching a forecast it gave previously. .

Ford shares initially rose 0.5 percent in extended trading but by early Tuesday evening were flat with their closing value of $12.85. GM shares were also trading near their close of $37.35, up 3.7 percent from the previous day.

Ford said profit would improve in 2018 but in 2017 the company would be pressured as it increased spending on "emerging opportunities" like self-driving cars and a rise in other costs.

The company last week said it was on course to deliver a "high-volume, fully autonomous vehicle for ride sharing in 2021" and a fully electric small SUV with a range of at least 300 miles on a full charge.

GM, the largest U.S. automaker, said it expected 2017 earnings per share in a range of $6 to $6.50. Analysts had, on average, predicted the company would post EPS this year of $5.76, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Ford on Tuesday declared a first-quarter regular dividend of $0.15 per share and a $200 million supplemental cash dividend, or an additional $0.05 per share. The regular dividend matched that of the first quarter of 2016, but the supplemental dividend was below the $0.25 per share payout announced a year ago.

Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Andrew Hay

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