Fiat stock slides 4.4% on weak results

Carmaker posts second-quarter loss of 246 million euros

Fiat stock slides 4.4% on weak results

(ANSA) - Milan, July 31 - Fiat's stock price slipped 4.4% on the Milan bourse on Thursday after the carmaker presented worse-than-expected financial results. The figures showed that Fiat's business in Europe was making a loss and that group's performance at the moment depended on Chrysler doing well. Fiat's share price fell 6% at one stage to 3.93 euros before recovering some ground. Fiat's balance sheet showed a second-quarter loss of 246 million euros - without counting Chrysler - compared to net profits of 1.38 billion in 2011. With Chrysler, second quarter profits came in at 358 million euros. Excluding Chrysler, total revenues were down 7.5% to 9.2 billion euros in the second quarter, reflecting economic trouble in Europe, especially in Italy. With Chrysler, group revenues totaled 21.5 billion euros for the second quarter. Fiat Group CEO Sergio Marchionne defended the group's embattled stock price Tuesday reiterating that it is on track to meet year end objectives, and that he foresaw strong performance for the second half of the year. The group announced it expects to achieve net profits of 1.2 to 1.5 billion euros, and earnings before taxes and interest (EBIT) of 3.8 to 4.5 billion euros. Fiat's car sales in Europe dropped 16.7% in June taking its share of the European market to 6.4%, compared to 7.5% in June 2011. Marchionne said earlier this month that the carmaker may have to close one of its plants in Italy if weak demand on the European auto market continues.

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