LONDON -- Aston Martin is facing yet more pain and questions about its future after a first-half loss added to a difficult week in which the British luxury carmaker revised downward planned vehicle sales.
Since its stock listing in October, the manufacturer has struggled to find its footing as a publicly traded company. Aston Martin shares are now worth less than a quarter of what they were when it went public 10 months ago. The stock plunged as much as 22 percent on Wednesday after the company reported a first-half operating loss. The shares were trading at 4.52 pounds as of 9:24 a.m. in London, compared with 19 pounds at their debut in October. Aston Martin is now the third-worst performing stock in the UK mid-cap FTSE 250 benchmark this year.
The challenges, and a share price in free fall, have prompted speculation about the carmaker raising more funds and becoming a takeover target.
“It’s been a tough time for all of us, but we still believe that what we’ve done is the right thing for the brand,” Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said Wednesday on a call with reporters.
Last week, Aston Martin cut its outlook on sales to dealers by more than 10 percent, pushing shares sharply lower. The automaker reported a first-half adjusted operating loss of 35.2 million pounds ($43 million), compared with a 64.4 million pound profit last year.