January 27, 2012
Ford Motor Co. posted a big profit for the fourth quarter and 2011, but they were largely due to accounting changes. Without those changes, the company fell short of Wall Street's expectations.
Ford earned $13.62 billion in the fourth quarter, or $3.40 per
share, largely due to a decision to move deferred tax assets back
onto its books. It was Ford's 11th straight quarterly profit. The
company earned $190 million, or 5 cents per share, in the same
quarter a year earlier.
Revenue rose 6 percent to $34.6 billion.
Ford moved $15.7 billion worth of tax credits and other assets
off its books starting in 2006 because it wasn't making money so it
couldn't take advantage of them. The company moved most of them
back in the fourth quarter because it anticipates using them now
that it's profitable.
Without that accounting change, the company earned 20 cents per
share. Analysts polled by FactSet had forecast 25 cents.
Ford said it will make profit-sharing payments of around $6,200
each to its 41,600 U.S. hourly employees.
Its North American operating profit rose 33 percent to $889
million, but the company lost money in Europe and Asia, due to the
debt crisis and flooding in Thailand. Ford said it is cutting
European production in the first quarter by 36,000 vehicles because
of weak sales. It's also making smaller production cuts in Asia and
South America, but is increasing production in North America by
For the full year, the Dearborn-based company earned $20.2
billion, or $4.94 per share.