Sometimes it can be difficult to please Wall Street. As trading for the week neared its close the automaker’s shares were on track to drop about a half dollar as trader’s lamented the sort of figures that they might have only fantasized about during the depths of the Great Recession. The maker reported a full-year pre-tax operating profit of $8.8 billion, or $1.51 a share, an increase of $463 million over 2010.
But what didn’t sit so well is that Ford still fell about a nickel a share short of early estimates, and more worrisome, total automotive pre-tax operating profits for the fourth quarter dipped to $586 million, a decrease of $155 million from the fourth quarter of 2010.
What’s behind it all? Analysts and company officials seem to agree on key factors including
- Losses in both Europe and Asia Pacific;
- Declining profits in the otherwise strong South American market;
- Flooding in Thailand, in particular, hurt the maker in a number of regions; and
- Commodity prices soared by about $100 million more than Ford initially planned for.