Q4 Preview: Amid Static, Ford (F) Results Should Be Strong; Investors to Eye Outlook

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Shares of Ford ( F ) are hanging in negative territory ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings report, expected out Friday morning before the market opens.

The Street is looking for Ford to report earnings of 25 cents per share and revenue of $32.35 billion. Should Ford come in-line with views, it would be a drop of 17 percent from the same period last year.

Shares gained 11.3 percent in the quarter to $10.76 at the end of December. The stock is up 18.3 percent since the end of the quarter. Shares fell 36 percent over 2011.

Data from Bloomberg has 15 analysts with a Buy, seven at Hold, and none with a Sell rating. The Street's price target average is $16, with a low of $14 and high of $17. By comparison, over the last 52-week Ford has traded within a range of $9.05 to $18.88.

Deutsche Bank is modeling for earnings of 24 cents per share. Typically, Ford's fourth-quarter numbers are noisy with higher fixed-costs and incentive accruals. For this year, results will see some impact from the UAW signing bonus of $280 million total.

Looking ahead, Deutsche commented, "We believe that 2012 sets up very well for Ford; particularly in North America. While our forecast incorporates somewhat lower global and NA margins on a year-over-year basis, we would not be surprised if Ford's official guidance implies flat-to-up margins globally...Additionally, vs. our current estimate of $5.8 billion of North American EBIT, we see the potential for significant SAAR and pricing upside (we're at 13 million U.S. SAAR; every 1 million units upside vs. our forecast should add $1.3 billion to earnings; we also conservatively forecast $500 million of negative pricing, despite Ford's relatively strong product cadence in 2012)."

Stay tuned to StreetInsider.com's EPS Insider section to see our analysis of the highly-anticipated quarterly results within seconds of their release. You can also check out Ford's past performance at Streetinsider's Ford's Income Statement .



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



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