Ford Motor Company Earnings: Expect Few Surprises This Quarter

Ford's full-year 2016 guidance, from the Q3 2016 earnings presentation

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) will report its fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 earnings before the bell on Thursday, Jan. 26. Here's a look at what to expect.

What Wall Street expects

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect Ford to report earnings of $0.32 per share for the fourth quarter, on average, on revenue of $35.1 billion. Both numbers would be down from the $0.58 that Ford earned per share on $40.3 billion of revenue in the year-ago quarter .

What happened at Ford during the quarter

Ford's sales numbers in the important U.S. market were just so-so in the fourth quarter. Overall sales were down 2.3%, reflecting a large (20%) drop in Ford-brand car sales -- but sales of the very profitable F-Series pickups (up 4.3%) and Lincoln luxury models (up 14.8%) were both strong, suggesting a good bottom-line result for Ford's North America unit.

Fields also confirmed that Ford's full-year 2016 automotive revenue (revenue from its core business of building and selling vehicles) will be "equal to or greater than" the $140.6 billion it generated in 2015. Ford generated $105.5 billion in automotive revenue through the first nine months of 2016, implying a fourth-quarter result in the vicinity of $35.1 billion. (Total revenue, including results from Ford's financial-services unit, will likely be somewhat higher.)

The upshot: Surprises don't seem likely

I think Ford's results will come in very close to the numbers we extrapolated from its full-year guidance. Fields and CFO Bob Shanks tend to try to give investors accurate expectations, rather than offering lowball guidance the company then goes on to beat. At least as of right now, I don't think it's likely that Ford will surprise us in a big way on Thursday.

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John Rosevear owns shares of Ford. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Ford. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

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

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

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