UPDATE 3-Fiat Chrysler shares tumble on strategic plan doubts

miércoles 7 de mayo de 2014 13:30 GYT

* Shares close almost 12 pct lower after brief suspension

* Q1 loss underscores challenges for Fiat Chrysler

* Analysts question funding, some see capital increase (Adds comments from presentation, closing shares)

By Stefano Rebaudo and Laurence Frost

MILAN/PARIS, May 7 (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler's shares fell sharply on Wednesday as analysts questioned whether the carmaker could achieve Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne's new targets - and how his ambitious expansion plan would be funded.

Trading was briefly suspended after the shares tumbled more than 9 percent, before resuming their decline to close almost 12 percent lower at 7.48 euros, with investors still digesting Tuesday's strategy presentation in Detroit.

Under the plan, outlined in 10 hours of analyst meetings, Marchionne pledged to multiply sales, raise profitability and slash debt by 2018, while investing 48 billion euros ($67 billion) in a global expansion led by the Jeep, Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands.

"These targets were almost unnecessarily bullish, leaving multiple execution challenges - even if they won't be tested for several years," said Citi analyst Philip Watkins.

Quarterly earnings, also published late on Tuesday, were a "major disappointment" that served to underline the challenge, Watkins added in a note.   Continuación...