Ford Sees $2B Europe Loss in 2013 (Update 1)

Tickers in this article: F
Updated to reflect chief financial officer's discussion of Europe loss on fourth-quarter earnings conference call

DETROIT (TheStreet) -- Ford (F) expects to lose $2 billion in Europe this year, wider than its $1.8 billion loss in 2012, Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said Tuesday.

Speaking on Ford's fourth-quarter earnings conference call, Shanks said European full-year industry volume will be at the lower end of an estimated 13 million to 14 million units, while Ford will have higher pension costs than anticipated.

"We're on track to deliver a European transformation plan," Shanks said. The plan includes higher costs for restructuring, investment in new product and accelerated depreciation for plants that will close. "These are the investments we must make now to enable the transformation of our European business for growth in the future," he said.

In the fourth quarter, Ford topped fourth-quarter analysts' estimates as it reported record results in North America.

Excluding items, the automaker reported net income of $1.6 billion, or 31 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had estimated 25 cents. Revenue rose 1.9% to $36.5 billion. Analysts had estimated $32.9 billion.

"The Ford team delivered strong results once again, underscoring that our One Ford plan is working," said CEO Alan Mulally, in a prepared statement. "We are well positioned for another strong year in 2013, as we continue our plan to serve customers in all markets around the world."

In North America, Ford reported pretax profit of $1.9 billion, up from $900 million in the same period a year earlier. Pretax profit was $145 million in South America and $39 million in Asia. But Ford lost $732 million in Europe.

For the full year, Ford reported net income of $5.7 billion, or $1.42 a share.

Ford shares fell 3.5% in Tuesday trading to $13.31.

-- Written by Ted Reed at the Detroit Auto Show.

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