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Ford Posts Quarterly Loss

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

Ford Motor Co. today reported a fourth-quarter loss of $1.67 billion as the automaker’s North American results fell.

The loss was 42 cents on a per-share basis. That compares with a year-earlier loss of $116 million, or 3 cents. Revenue for the quarter fell to $41.8 billion from $39.7 billion a year earlier.

Ford had a quarterly profit, excluding some items, of 12 cents a share compared with 30 cents a year earlier.

”Financially, the company’s 2019 performance was short of our original expectations, mostly because our operational execution – which we usually do very well – wasn’t nearly good enough,” CEO Jim Hackett said in a statement. “We recognize, take accountability for and have made changes because of this.”

Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford had earnings before interest and taxes of $700 million in North America for the quarter, $1.26 billion worse than in 2018’s fourth quarter. The region is Ford’s main source of earnings.

Ford said its European unit had a $21 million profit while its South American and China units had lower losses than a year earlier.

Also included in the results was a $2.2 billion loss because of higher contributions to its pension plans, which the a

The automaker has been revamping operations. It has discontinued much of its car line to concentrate on production of more profitable trucks and SUVs. The company also has recorded higher warranty costs.

For the full-year, Ford posted a profit of $47 million, or 1 cent a share, compared with $3.68 billion, or $1.30, for 2018. Excluding one-time items, Ford’s full-year profit was $1.19 a share for 2019, down from $1.30 in 2018.

Revenue for the year fell to $155.9 billion from $160.3 billion in 2018.

The company forecast 2020 adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of $5.6 billion to $6.6 billion. It said first-quarter adjusted earnings to be down more than $1.1 billion compared with the same period in 2019. Ford expects higher warranty costs that arose in 2019’s second half to continue into this year’s first quarter.

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