Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) released its latest earnings report before opening bell this morning, reporting the company’s highest fourth quarter profits in 10 years. But you wouldn’t know it by the company’s stock price this morning. Shares of Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) are down 4 percent in morning trades in New York. The company’s profits were flat in the third quarter due to heavy losses in Europe.
In today’s earnings report, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) reported $1.7 billion in pre-tax profits for the fourth quarter. Net earnings were $1.24 billion, which is about 31 cents per share. Wall Street consensus for Ford was 25 to 28 cents per share.
The biggest problem investors have with Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) right now is the company’s European losses. Ford’s European losses in its third quarter were so great that they virtually erased the positives in the company’s American gains. During the fourth quarter, Europe continued to be a problem area for Ford, which posted $732 million in losses for Europe.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)’s full-year European losses amounted to $1.73 billion, and the company’s CFO said investors can expect more of the same this year. He said investors should look for Ford to lose about $2 billion in 2013, but he also said Ford will make a comeback in Europe with the introductions of some new models.
Ford’s overall results were positive. The company’s full-year pre-tax earnings were $8 billion, and its net income was $5.7 billion, slightly lower than a year ago. Ford’s fourth quarter revenue was $36.5 billion, an increase of almost $2 billion from the same quarter a year ago.
The company said it would make profit-sharing payments of around $8,300 to more than 45,000 hourly workers in the U.S. on Mar. 14. Ford announced earlier this month that it would double its quarterly dividend to 10 cents per share.
This morning analysts at Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) have already issued a report to investors on shares of Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F). They have rated the stock as Overweight and set their price target at $17 per share. The analysts said the company’s fourth quarter results were strong, “but consensus may drift down slightly given the company’s depressed guidance for non N. America.” However they “see nothing in these results” that would make them “waiver” from their view of Ford as being their top U.S. auto stock.