Ferrari’s new CEO says Marchionne target is ‘aspirational’

August 2, 2018 09:46 CET

MILAN — Ferrari shares plunged the most in more than two years after new CEO Louis Camilleri called the supercar maker’s profit targets set by his predecessor Sergio Marchionne “aspirational.”

Camilleri, speaking to analysts less than two weeks after taking over as CEO, said on a conference call Wednesday that he will outline in September how the luxury carmaker will attempt to reach the goal to double profit by 2022.

“Both Sergio and I had the same ambitions,” Camilleri told analysts on the earnings call, after repeating several times that the targets were “aspirational.” He also said the goals carried “risks and opportunities.”

Ferrari dropped as much as 12 percent in New York on Wednesday, the biggest decline since February 2016, and were down 8.2 percent to $121.63 at 11:54 a.m., giving the company a market value of $22.9 billion.

The slump mirrors the 16 percent drop in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles shares on July 25, when new CEO Mike Manley cut the carmaker’s profit targets for 2018. Marchionne was CEO of Ferrari, Fiat Chrysler and CNH Industrial, a maker off trucks and acgricultural equipment all controlled by Fiat’s founding Agnelli family.

Ferrari earlier on Wednesday said adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose to 290 million euros ($338 million), beating estimates. The company reiterated that it expects more than 1.1 billion euros for the full year.

Marchionne’s plans

The new CEO is stepping into the shoes of Marchionne, who boosted Ferrari’s value by spinning it off from Fiat Chrysler, and doubled profit in just four years by raising production and introducing one-off models. The former chief, who died on July 25, was preparing to expand the manufacturer beyond sport cars and introduce hybrid electric vehicles, including its first ever SUV.

Ferrari is banking on Camilleri getting up to speed quickly to press ahead with Marchionne’s plan. While Marchionne was planning to retire from Fiat Chrysler in 2019, he was meant to stay on at Ferrari for another five years. His succession plan was not as advanced at the Maranello-based company as it was at FCA.

Camilleri, 63, is non-executive chairman of Philip Morris International. The cigarette maker is a major sponsor of Ferrari’s Formula 1 team, and the executive was on the board of the Maranello, Italy-based carmaker.

Ferrari confirmed on Wednesday that details on achieving the 2022 targets will be given during two days of investor presentations starting Sept. 17.

Marchionne said in February that Ferrari plans to double its profit to 2 billion euros within five years. Bloomberg News first reported his strategy last year.

John Elkann, the leader of the Agnelli family who controls Ferrari and Fiat, picked Camilleri on July 21, while opting to take on Marchionne’s role as chairman of both companies.

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