) reported fourth quarter earnings in the pre-market Tuesday that
beat analyst forecasts. Although revenue was slightly weaker than
forecast in the quarter, shares initially rose in the pre-market
on relatively strong guidance before giving back much of the
For the fourth quarter of 2012, Ford reported earnings per
share of $0.31 compared to forecasts of earnings per share of
$0.26. In the same period a year ago, Ford reported earnings per
share of $0.22, meaning that earnings per share grew 41 percent
from the same period a year ago.
Revenue was slightly weak in the quarter, at $33.1 billion,
slightly below forecasts of $33.17 billion. Sales grew two
percent from the same period a year ago.
Other highlights from the press release showed that Ford grew
its cash position to bolster its liquidity and results were
driven by positive trends in North America.
Ford generated $1 billion in free cash flow in the fourth
quarter and $3.4 billion in free cash flow for the full year
2012, increasing its total cash to $24.3 billion and its
liquidity position to $34.5 billion. Ford also noted that North
American results drove the strong earnings while European sales
continued to weigh as the continent escapes recession.
"Our focus this year will be to continue our strong
performance in North America and at Ford Credit, while at the
same time, addressing challenges and opportunities in other parts
of our business," said Bob Shanks, Ford chief financial
"In Europe this means executing our transformation plan, while
in South America we will continue to refresh our entire product
line-up, and in Asia Pacific we will continue to invest for even
stronger, profitable growth in the future."
Jamie Albertine, Stifel Nicolaus' Ford Analyst, told Benzinga
yesterday that Europe would be key for Ford.
"Everytime we talk to [Ford], its about their plans for
Europe. We need to get more clarity around stabalization, when
Europe can approach break even," Albertine said.
Ford said it would lose $2 billion in Europe this year, more
than it had previously anticipated. Ford's management
characterized Europe's economy as remaining tepid.
Looking forward, Ford sees continued sales and earnings growth
in the North American market while it expects to be break-even in
South America and a loss of approximately $2 billion in Europe in
2013. Ford also expects the Asia Pacific region to be about
break-even in 2013.
Ford shares initially popped then sold off on the earnings
release. Shares declined 1.74 percent pre-market to $13.54 per
share. Shares are just below the 52-week high at $14.30.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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