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Ford Finance Chief: Labor Agreement Should Mean Investment-Grade Status

Ford Finance Chief: Labor Agreement Should Mean Investment-Grade Status

Ford Motor Company's chief financial officer Lewis Booth told investors recently that he believes the automaker's new labor agreement with the United Auto Workers is likely to be viewed favorably by ratings agencies.

According to the Detroit News, Booth explained that while Ford is hoping it will achieve investment-grade status soon, it is not completely necessary to pay dividends.

"Our shareholders have been very patient. It would be nice to get investment grade ahead of time, but that's not in our control," Booth explained.

Mark Fields, president of the Americas for Ford, added that the new agreement will increase costs less than 1 percent over the span of the contract, boost wages for entry-level workers and add up to 12,000 new jobs over four years, the news source reported.

According to The Associated Press, Fitch Ratings upgraded Ford's debt just hours after the automaker's conference call to detail the terms of the agreement. Shares of the company rose 14 cents on Thursday, October 20, the AP noted.  

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