Ford Reports Quarterly Loss but Says Sales Grew

Ford Reports Quarterly Loss but Says Sales Grew

Ford Motor said it lost $526 million in the final three months of 2023, largely due to special charges related to its employee retirement programs and the restructuring of some of its overseas operations.

The automaker said its fourth-quarter revenue rose to $46 billion from $44 billion a year earlier, thanks to strong sales of internal combustion engine vehicles and light-duty vehicles.

The company’s division, which makes gasoline and hybrid vehicles, earned $813 million before interest and taxes in the fourth quarter, and its commercial vehicle division earned $1.8 billion. The unit, which makes electric vehicles, lost $1.6 billion.

John Lawler, Ford’s chief financial officer, said the company’s fourth-quarter profit was also hit by an extended strike by the United Automobile Workers union and higher labor costs due to the new contract with the UAW

“When you take those two factors into account, you see a pretty strong quarter,” Mr. Lawler said on a conference call.

Ford previously said the strike reduced its 2023 pre-tax profit by $1.7 billion.

Looking ahead, Ford expects adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of $10 billion to $12 billion this year.

Speaking to financial analysts, Ford Chief Executive Jim Farley said the company is adjusting its investments in electric cars, placing less emphasis on larger vehicles and more on smaller models that use a cost-effective design that Ford has been working on.

A small electric vehicle from Ford would most likely compete with a cheaper car that Tesla is expected to launch in 2025. “The ultimate competition will be affordable Tesla and Chinese manufacturers,” Farley said.

Ford reported a profit of $4.3 billion in 2023, compared to a loss of $2 billion in 2022. Sales rose to $176 billion in 2023, up from $158 billion in Year 2022. The company announced that its 58,000 UAW employees would receive up to $100 billion in profit-sharing bonuses, up to $10,400 based on performance in 2023.

The automaker said it wants to improve its financial performance by investing less in some areas, such as electric vehicles, while setting higher profit targets for the projects it is still pouring money into. “Simply ‘good’ is not good enough and investments are going to projects that have credible plans to achieve their targeted returns,” Mr. Lawler said in a statement.

Ford shares rose about 6 percent in extended trading after the company reported earnings.

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2024-02-07 00:38:26