Ford Motor (F 8.54, +0.20, +2.40%) has posted moderate gains through the morning after
reporting its fourth quarter results.
Any element of surprise was largely removed from the then-pending earnings report on January 16, when Ford announced that it expected to report below-consensus fourth quarter earnings of about $0.30 per share. The company's Automotive revenue increased 0.5% year/year to $38.7 bln, which was ahead of estimates.
The company did not offer additional commentary about its outlook for 2019 other than noting that it expects to fully fund its business needs and capital plans while keeping cash and liquidity levels above target.
Ford saw some improvement in its North American performance during the fourth quarter. Operations in South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific, meanwhile, produced mostly weaker results.
North American revenue grew 7.1% to $25.8 bln while wholesales declined by 1,000 to 738,000. Market share decreased by 80 basis points to 12.8% while Earnings Before Interest and Tax increased 11.1% year/year to $2.0 bln. EBIT margin improved to 7.6% from 7.3% one year ago.
South American revenue decreased 29.4% year/year to $1.2 bln while wholesales declined by 18,000 to 89,000. Market share decreased by 130 basis points to 7.6%. Loss Before Interest and Tax increased 4.8% to $199 mln while EBIT margin weakened by 530 basis points to -16.4%. Seasonally adjusted sales in Brazil grew 17% but declined 44% in Argentina.
European revenue decreased 8.6% to $7.4 bln while wholesales declined by 55,000 to 361,000. Market share remained unchanged at 7.3%. The company reported a pre-tax loss of $199 mln, down from EBIT of $89 mln one year ago. EBIT margin decreased by 380 basis points to -2.7%. Seasonally adjusted sales in Europe fell 8% while sales in Turkey fell 50%. On the bright side, the company recorded its highest fourth quarter commercial vehicle market share in the region since 1994.
In the Middle East and Africa, revenue fell 12.5% year/year to $700 mln while wholesales decreased by 3,000 to 32,000. Market share weakened by 130 basis points to 3.0% due to declines in most regional markets. The company reported a pre-tax loss of $49 mln, $17 mln slimmer than last year's loss. EBIT margin improved by 130 basis points to -7.0%.
Asia Pacific revenue decreased 5.3% to $3.6 bln while wholesales declined by 198,000 to 254,000. Market share decreased by 120 basis points to 2.2%. The company reported a pre-tax loss of $381 mln after reporting a pre-tax profit of $30 mln one year ago. EBIT margin weakened by 1150 bps to -10.7%.
The company's Mobility segment reported a pre-tax loss of $195 mln after reporting a pre-tax loss of $100 mln one year ago.
Ford Credit reported a pre-tax profit of $663 mln, up 8.7% year/year. During the fiscal year, segment pre-tax profit grew 13.0% to $2.6 bln, representing the highest level in eight years.
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