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Ford Stock Extends Slump After Halting New Maverick Hybrid Pickup Orders

Ford shares have fallen more than 20% over the past ten days as investors weigh supply-chain disruptions against consumer demand ahead of its fourth quarter earnings.

Updated at 5:22 pm EST

Ford Motor Co.  (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report shares slumped lower Monday after the carmaker said it would stop taking retail orders for the Maverick amid a production backlog for the newly-unveiled hybrid pickup.

Ford said customers can still buy the $20,000 Maverick on dealer lots, but it won't take new retail orders for the truck until later in the summer as it focuses on fulfilling existing demand. 

The decision suggests Ford is still struggling to balance supply and demand amid a global bottleneck in semiconductor output and further disruptions in parts manufacturing and freight times in the waning months of the global Covid pandemic.

Ford is hoping to double the pace of its F-150 Lightning output to 150,000 units this year, and has said it's booked 200,000 reservations for the iconic electric pickup, as the carmaker ramps-up its electric vehicle push. 

In fact, Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois cut his rating on Ford to 'hold", from 'buy' last week -- while bumping his price target $5 higher to $20 per share -- but noted that premature to re-rate legacy OEMs for their EV progress since earnings remain mostly driven by cyclical shortages, returns remain within historical norms and the EV transition is largely a zero-sum-game initially."

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Ford shares closed 1.3% lower Monday to end the session at $20.39 each, a move that would extend the stock's five-day decline to more than 18%. 

Ford will publish its fourth quarter earnings on Thursday with investors looking for an adjusted bottom line of 43 cents per share on revenues of $35.76 billion.

Ford said adjusted earnings for the full year would come in between $10.5 billion and $11.5 billion, up from its prior estimate of $9 billion to $10 billion, when it reported third quarter profits in late October.