(Bloomberg) — Ford Motor Co. kick analysts’ estimates for
the fourth entertain and pronounced public of a aluminum-bodied
F-150 is going “extremely well,” even as a second-biggest
U.S. automaker grapples with waste in Europe and South America.

Ford reported net income of $52 million, or 1 cent a share,
down from $3.04 billion, or 74 cents, a year earlier. Excluding
one-time costs, such as a assign in Venezuela, a distinction was 26
cents a share, violence a 22-cent normal guess of 18
analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. For a full year, Ford posted
pretax distinction of $6.3 billion, improved than a $6 billion it
forecast as it cut financial goals in September.

Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields has likely pretax
profits will grow by as most as 51 percent this year as Ford
turns divided from a year of complicated spending and reduced production
to deliver 24 new models. Ford’s U.S. sales fell final year,
losing roughly 1 commission indicate of marketplace share as a industry
had a best year given 2006.

“2014 was a solid, though severe year,” Bob Shanks,
Ford’s arch financial officer, told reporters in Dearborn
today. “It positions us for a really clever 2015.”

Ford rose 2.4 percent to $14.80 during 7:49 a.m. New York time,
before unchanging trading. Ford shares rose 0.5 percent in 2014,
while a Standard Poor’s 500 Index gained 11 percent.

“It positively has been challenging, generally in light of
how healthy a attention has been,” Michael Razewski, a
principal during Douglas C. Lane Associates in New York who
oversees some-more than $4 billion, including Ford shares, pronounced in an
interview. “This is really an critical year for Ford.”

Profit Center

No new indication introduction is some-more critical than a F-Series lorry line, that accounts for 90 percent of Dearborn,
Michigan-based Ford’s tellurian automotive profits, according to
Morgan Stanley. Ford will have dual factories using during full
tilt before midyear, Shanks pronounced today, cranking out a F-150,
which achieves as most as 26 miles (42 kilometers) per gallon on
the highway, a 29 percent alleviation from a comparison model.

The introduction of a F-150 “is going intensely well,”
Shanks said. “We’ll have a whole complement adult and using at
full speed in a second quarter.”

Ford is struggling with instability in South America, where
it mislaid $187 million in a fourth quarter, compared with a $126
million detriment a year earlier. Ford took an $800 million pretax
charge on Jan. 23 given a inability to sell U.S. dollars
for a devalued Venezuelan bolivar is restricting its
operations there. The automaker also private Venezuela from its
consolidated formula and released a unit’s $500 million cash
balance from a automotive sum cash.

Venezuelan Challenge

“This proclamation highlights a continued hurdles the
company is confronting in a South American business,” Joseph
Amaturo, an researcher with a Buckingham Research Group who has a
“neutral” rating on Ford, wrote in a Jan. 23 note to
investors.

To implement new bureau collection for a F-150, Ford close down
its dual lorry plants for 13 weeks final year, costing the
automaker prolongation of 90,000 of a pickups. It will remove more
output this year as a F-150 plant nearby Kansas City, Missouri,
takes 6 weeks to modify to a new model.

Ford sole 753,851 F-series trucks in a U.S. final year,
down 1.3 percent, while remaining a top-selling car in
America for a 33rd uninterrupted year. The lorry sheds as much
as 700 pounds (318 kilograms) to urge fuel economy, mostly by
using aluminum instead of steel in a body.

Gasoline Prices

Selling a some-more fuel-efficient lorry has turn more
difficult as U.S. gasoline prices have depressed to a six-year low.
A gallon of unchanging gas sole for an normal of $2.038 on
Wednesday, down 38 percent from a year ago, according to a AAA
auto club. In initial promotion for a F-150, Ford has
focused on how most some-more a new lorry can transport and tow, rather
than fuel economy.

“Ford done really large bets on tiny and light for fuel
economy,” Adam Jonas, a Morgan Stanley researcher who rates Ford
“underweight,” pronounced in an interview. “That is diametrically
opposed to where a consumer is going in a here and now.”

Ford posted pretax handling income of $1.55 billion in
North America in a fourth quarter, down from $1.8 billion a
year earlier. Ford’s U.S. sales fell 0.6 percent to 2.47 million
last year, as a altogether marketplace rose 5.9 percent. Ford’s U.S.
market share declined to 15 percent final year from 15.9 percent
in 2013, according to Autodata Corp. of Woodcliff Lake, New
Jersey.

Full-year pretax distinction in North America of $6.9 billion
means that UAW members during a automaker will accept profit-sharing checks that normal about $6,900, down from final year’s
record $8,800.

“This year, we have a event to have a
breakthrough,” Fields told investors during a Jan. 13 assembly in
Detroit. “We have all these launches — a 24 launches last
year, a 15 this year. We design a volume and sales revenue
to go up, a handling distinction and a pretax profitability.”

Fields has pronounced pretax boost will urge this year to
$8.5 billion to $9.5 billion, that Ford validated Thursday.
Yet he also pronounced North American distinction margins will stay in the
8 percent to 9 percent operation this year, down from some-more than 10
percent in 2013, given a new lorry won’t strech full
production until a second quarter.

‘Rough Transition’

“They will demeanour behind and say, ‘We’re blissful we did a truck
in aluminum, though man, that was a pain and boy, that was a rough
transition,” Jonas said. “Longer term, it’s positively the
right thing to do. But infrequently doing a right thing means
investors have to be patient.”

Ford’s fourth-quarter automotive sales fell to $33.8
billion, as North American prolongation was cut by 5.4 percent to
about 715,000 cars and trucks. Analysts had likely fourth-quarter automotive sales of $34.6 billion, a normal of 13
estimates.

In Europe, where Ford has been losing income given 2011,
pretax handling waste totaled $443 million in a fourth
quarter. The automaker pronounced a sales in Europe rose 7.3 percent
last year, outpacing industrywide gains, as a segment slowly
recovers from a low recession. Ford sealed a bureau in Belgium
last year and stretched prolongation during dual plants in Germany.

Ford altered a foresee for European waste this year
citing worsening conditions due to deterioation in Russia. Ford
now says it will remove reduction in Europe this year than a pretax
loss of $1.1 billion it posted for 2014. Previously, a company
forecast a detriment of about $250 million in Europe in 2015.

China Sales

In a Asia Pacific region, Ford had pretax distinction of $95
million in a fourth quarter. The company’s sales in China
surged 19 percent final year, as it delivered a record 1.1
million vehicles on clever direct for a Kuga sport-utility
vehicle and Mondeo sedan. Last year, Ford introduced a Lincoln
luxury line in China, that Fields pronounced could eventually be the
brand’s No. 1 market.

Ford’s pierce this month to boost a quarterly division by
20 percent to 15 cents a share was a prerogative for investors who
have stranded with a automaker during this duration of reduce sales
and profit, Jonas said.

That boost was acquire news to Razewski, assisting to ease
the pain of a stock’s bad performance.

“You’re removing paid to wait,” Razewski said. “We’re all
waiting a small longer, so maybe we should be paid a little
more.”

To hit a contributor on this story:
Keith Naughton in Dearborn, Michigan, at
knaughton3@bloomberg.net

To hit a editors obliged for this story:
Jamie Butters at
jbutters@bloomberg.net
Cecile Daurat