Ford earnings: Biggest profit since ‘98
Ford reported its best annual earnings since 1998 on Friday, making 2011 the second most profitable year in the company’s 109-year history.
But much of the profit was attributed to a non-cash gain, as it put a large tax credit from past losses on its balance sheet that will shield it from taxes in the future. Excluding that credit, the carmaker posted full-year and quarterly earnings that fell short of last year’s profit as well as analysts’ forecasts.
The company’s 2011 net income of $20.2 billion, up from $6.6 billion in 2010, was the best since 1998, when it received a large one-time gain from the sale of The Associates financial unit. About $12.4 billion of the latest profit came from the accounting gain.
Excluding special items, Ford (F, Fortune 500) reported operating income of $6.1 billion, or $1.51 a share, down from the $7.6 billion, or $1.91 a share, it earned on that basis in 2010.