Things are looking up for Ford Motor Co., which posted a fourth-quarter profit recently and swung to a profit for the year with the help of accounting gains. Ford also forecasted an operating profit for 2010.
Previously, Ford had said that it doesn´t expect to be solidly profitable'' until 2011. But these figures indicate continued progress in CEO Alan Mulally's recovery efforts to lessen the blow as it sees its weakest US sales in 27 years.
Ford has already made history as being the only large US automaker not to reorganize under a U.S. government-supported bankruptcy in 2009.
In a statement, Mulally said that while the company expects to deal with significant business environment challenges ahead, Ford considers 2009 to be a pivotal year and the strongest proof yet that its One Ford plan is working and that it is forging a path toward profitable growth by working together as one team, leveraging [its] global scale.
Ford had a fourth-quarter net income of $868 million compared with a loss of $5.9 billion a year earlier. Breaking a 3-year streak of losses, Ford recorded a net profit of $2.7 billion for 2009 compared with a loss of $14.8 billion in 2008.
Last year's results were aided by gains from debt-reduction efforts and other items. Meanwhile, Ford's operating gain, after taxes, for the fourth quarter totaled $1.6 billion compared with a loss of $3.3 billion a year ago.
Ford's operating profit for the year was $8 million compared with a loss of $7.3 billion a year earlier. Ford ended the year with $25.5 billion in automotive gross cash and $34.3 billion in automotive debt.
The American manufacturer revealed that it now expects to be profitable for full year 2010 on a pre-tax basis excluding special items, for North America, with positive operating-related cash flow.