DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford Motor Co. posted a big profit for the fourth quarter and 2011, but they were largely due to accounting changes. Without those changes, the company fell short of Wall Street's expectations.
Ford earned $13.62 billion in the fourth quarter, or $3.40 per share, largely due to a decision to move deferred tax assets back onto its books. It was Ford's 11th straight quarterly profit. The company earned $190 million, or 5 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.
Revenue rose 6 percent to $34.6 billion.
Ford moved $15.7 billion worth of tax credits and other assets off its books starting in 2006 because it wasn't making money so it couldn't take advantage of them. The company moved most of them back in the fourth quarter because it anticipates using them now that it's profitable.
Without that accounting change, the company earned 20 cents per share. Analysts polled by FactSet had forecast 25 cents.
Ford said it will make profit-sharing payments of around $6,200 each to its 41,600 U.S. hourly employees.
Its North American operating profit rose 33 percent to $889 million, but the company lost money in Europe and Asia, due to the debt crisis and flooding in Thailand. Ford said it is cutting European production in the first quarter by 36,000 vehicles because of weak sales. It's also making smaller production cuts in Asia and South America, but is increasing production in North America by 18,000 vehicles.
For the full year, the Dearborn-based company earned $20.2 billion, or $4.94 per share.