Ford Motor Co. beat analysts’ estimates for the fourth quarter and said assembly of the aluminum-bodied F-150 is going “extremely well,” even as the second-biggest U.S. automaker grapples with losses in Europe and South America.
Ford reported net income of $52 million, or 1 cent a share, down from $3.04 billion, or 74 cents, a year earlier. Excluding one-time costs, such as a charge in Venezuela, the profit was 26 cents a share, beating the 22-cent average estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. For the full year, Ford posted pretax profit of $6.3 billion, better than the $6 billion it forecast as it cut financial goals in September.
Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields has predicted pretax profits will grow by as much as 51 percent this year as Ford turns away from a year of heavy spending and reduced production to introduce 24 new models. Ford’s U.S. sales fell last year, losing almost 1 percentage point of market share as the industry had its best year since 2006.