Ford Motor Co posted a lower-than-expected fourth-quarter profit Friday due to disappointing results outside North America and rising commodity costs.
Excluding one-time items, Ford's operating profit fell to $1.1 billion, or 20 cents per share, from nearly $1.3 billion, or 30 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts, on average, expected an adjusted profit of 25 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Ford shares fell on the news.
Higher commodity costs, unfavorable exchange rates and worse results in Europe, Asia and South America hurt Ford's profit during the quarter. Ford's commodity costs were $2.3 billion for the year, up slightly from its $2.2 billion forecast.
"We saw the external environment deteriorate and that really affected most regions other than North America, and then we saw slightly greater than we expected impact of commodities, currency and also the Thai floods," Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth told reporters.
Ford's losses deepened in Europe during the quarter to $190 million compared to a $51 million loss a year ago. Booth said Europe would remain "challenging" for some time. In 2012, Ford expects growth in the region will be tempered by the debt crisis and austerity measures.
Ford faced increased competition in South America, where it reported a pretax operating profit of $108 million, down from $281 million a year earlier.
Production losses due to the flooding in Thailand hurt its results in Asia where reported a quarterly loss of $83 million, compared to a profit of $23 million a year ago.
In the fourth quarter, Ford reported a net income of $13.6 billion, or $3.40 per share, buoyed by a one-time tax-related gain of $12.4 billion. A year earlier, Ford posted net income of $190 million, or 5 cents per share.
The higher net income was the result of an accounting change that Ford said reflects confidence in its long-term profit outlook. The one-time gain resulted in a full-year net income of $20.2 billion, the highest annual profit since 1998.