Ford will pay $6,900 in profit sharing to its 50,180 United Auto Workers employees based on North American profits after the automaker reported global earnings of $3.2 billion for the year after a rough fourth quarter.
Fourth-quarter net income was down substantially, to $52 million from $3 billion a year ago, and revenue fell to $35.9 billion, but pretax earnings of $1.1 billion exceeded Wall Street’s expectations. Earnings per share of 26 cents exceeded Wall Street’s expectations by 3 cents, but it is still a big drop from 31 cents a year ago.
For the full year, Ford earned $3.2 billion, down from $7.2 billion in 2013. Executives had warned investors that the high cost of recalls, new product launches, losses in Europe and currency issues in South America would pull down earnings. Pretax earnings of $6.3 billion, while substantially below $8.6 billion a year ago, still beat analyst expectations.
“2014 was a solid yet challenging year,” said CEO Mark Fields, citing investments and the cost of product launches. The 24 new vehicles introduced around the world in 2014 — one more than anticipated with the year-end launch of the Ford Escort in China — should pay off this year. “2015 is going to be a breakthrough year for Ford.”
Overall guidance for 2015 remains unchanged, with pretax profits of $8.5 billion to $9.5 billion, Fields said, but higher auto cash flow than in 2014. And revenue, operating margins, volume and market share are all projected to increase.