Ford reports fifth straight year of profitability, but earnings off in 2014

(January 29, 2015) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford today reported a 2014 full-year pre-tax profit of $6.3 billion, the company’s fifth consecutive year of both profitability and positive automotive operating-related cash flow. Company results, which were consistent with September guidance, were driven by profitability in North America, record results in Asia Pacific, and the highest Ford Credit profit since 2011.

But Ford posted a drop in fourth-quarter profit and said earnings fell 56 percent in 2014 as it introduced 24 vehicles worldwide while U.S. market share declined.

Annual net income fell to $3.2 billion from $7.2 billion in 2013. Ford earned $52 million in the fourth quarter, marking its 22nd consecutive profitable quarter, but that was down from $3 billion in the same period a year earlier, when results were boosted by favorable tax benefits.

“2014 was a solid yet challenging year for Ford — with our investments and a record number of new products launched around the world positioning us for strong growth this year and beyond,” CEO Mark Fields said in a statement. “The entire Ford team remains focused on our three priorities of accelerating our One Ford plan, delivering product excellence and driving innovation in every part of the business.”

Annual revenue was down 2 percent, to $144.1 billion, as Ford booked fewer trucks and other vehicles coming off the assembly line.

The company’s fourth quarter pre-tax profit was $1.1 billion, excluding special items, $197 million lower than a year ago with after-tax earnings per share at 26 cents, 6 cents lower than a year ago. This was the company’s 22nd consecutive quarter of profitability.

Pre-tax special item charges of $1.2 billion primarily reflects a one-time accounting change for Ford’s Venezuela operations, as well as, separation-related actions in Europe and Asia Pacific to support the company’s transformation plans, and charges associated with the settlement of the 2016 Convertible Notes. Net income was $52 million, or one cent per share, $3 billion lower than a year ago.

Ford generated positive automotive operating-related cash flow of $500 million in the fourth quarter. Automotive gross cash was $21.7 billion, which exceeded debt by $7.9 billion, and liquidity remained strong.