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Ford UAW workers will get $7,500 profit-sharing checks

Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Automotive News

DETROIT -- Ford said Wednesday afternoon that its year-end earnings were down slightly from analyst projections because of the cost of recalls, lower sales in Asia and commodity costs.

Ford posted a full-year adjusted pretax profit for 2017 of $8.4 billion, which will result in $7,500 profit-sharing checks for an estimated 54,000 hourly UAW workers.

Net income was up year over year while net profits were down.

"This has been a very challenging year as well as a year of progress," Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said during a media briefing at company offices in Dearborn. He noted that Ford has $26.5 billion cash on hand, "protecting us" against any economic cycle that may unfold.

Ford also announced a fourth quarter pretax profit of $1.7 billion, down 19 percent from a year ago.

"On one hand, 2017 was by no means a horrible year for Ford, and workers will get pretty fat profit-sharing checks," said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at AutoTrader.

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"However, Ford did not close out 2017 on a particularly high note, and we expect 2018 will be a more challenging year for the entire industry," she said. "Our forecast is for 16.7 million new-car sales in 2018, so the fight for a piece of a smaller pie will be competitive. Further, Ford, like the other automakers, will have to address some headwinds like higher interest rates and an onslaught of returning off-lease vehicles that could challenge new vehicle sales."

She added, "Ford should benefit some in 2018 from freshened sport utilities, like the EcoSport, Edge and Expedition and Lincoln Navigator.

Ford reported a net income of $2.4 billion in the fourth quarter, an increase of $3.2 billion after a loss in the final quarter of 2016. The company saw full-year revenue of $156.8 billion, up 3 percent from 2016, and generated primarily by sales in North America.

For 2016, Ford reported revenue of $38.7 billion for the quarter and $151.8 billion for the year, up $2.2 billion from 2015.

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