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Fiat Chrysler reduces part of its 2018 guidance, driving shares down



  President Donald Trump drives new cars with automotive industry leaders, including Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne (L), at the American Mobility Center, a driverless car test facility for vehicles manufactured in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan, USA 15, 2017.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

President Donald Trump drives new cars with leaders in the auto industry, including Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne (L), at the American Center for Mobility, a test facility for driverless car technology. vehicles manufactured in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan, USA. UU March 15, 2017.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles boosted margins at its main profit center in North America in the last quarter of 2017 and cut more debt than expected, boosting the actions of the Italian-American automaker to 3 percent on the Thursday. [19659005Millancompanyagesinitiallycamedafterthepublicationofthebenefitsandoperationscreatedfinancialguidelinesslightlylowerby2018

But they recovered quickly when analysts welcomed FCA's efforts to erase debt and improve performance in all regions.

North America accounted for 71 percent of profits last quarter and the group increased profit margins in the region to 8 percent from 7.1 percent a year earlier, even when shipments dropped 3 percent.

FCA has been reorganizing some US factories to increase the production of lucrative utility vehicles and trucks while ending the production of some unprofitable sedans to increase margins in North America and close the gap in its larger American rivals General Motors and Ford Motor.

Ford reported an automotive margin for the fourth quarter for North America of 6.8 percent, compared with 8.5 percent the previous year.

FCA's performance also improved in the other regions where it operates, including Europe, Latin America and Asia.

Reduced net industrial debt to 2.4 billion euros ($ 3 billion), compared to 4.6 billion at the end of 2016. Analysts expected a debt of around 2.54 billion, according to a Thomson Reuters survey.

the results are not bad: the debt, although only slightly better than expected, surprises positively, "said a Milan-based analyst.

FCA cut its expectations for 2018 revenues and forecast an adjusted operating profit. and its cash position at the lower end of the previous guide.

The seventh largest automaker in the world said it expected full-year revenues of around 125 billion euros, below a previous forecast of around of 136 billion.

See adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of at least 8.7 billion euros compared to a range of 8.7-9.8 billion euros before. [19659005] FCA expects to cancel all the debt during 2018 and generate around 4 billion euros in net cash this year, previously guiding the net cash from 4 billion to 5 billion euros.

For the fourth quarter, FCA reported a 22 percent increase in adjusted EBIT, in line with a Thomson Reuters poll of analysts, while revenues fell 3 percent.

The automaker also said that a special bonus of $ 2,000 for US employees, announced on January 11, will be paid to approximately 60,000 employees per hour and salaried employees, excluding top leadership, in the second quarter.

CNBC contributed to this report .


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