Ford Motor Company today said the during Q1 of 2015 after tax earnings per share of 23 cents, excluding – once again – special items, was down 2 cents compared with a year ago. Net income of $924 million, or 23 cents per share, was down $65 million or 1 cent compared with a year ago.
This was the latest setback for Ford Motor CEO Mark Fields, who has been playing defense with declining performance since he took over from Alan Mulally in July of 2014. Sales volume and Company revenue were down in Ford’s view because of product launches and the negative effect of the strong U.S. dollar on international revenue. ( The $ rose ~14% against major currencies in Q1.)
Analysts polled by Thomson-Reuters estimated adjusted operating earnings of 26 cents a share, compared with 25 cents a share last year. Europe – yet again, and South America – ditto – hurt profits. Global revenue declined, significantly with a $900 million drop in Europe to $6.9 billion.
“The first quarter was a good start to a year in which our results will grow progressively stronger as the new products we have been launching start to pay off,” claimed Fields, who has seen the stock languish in the $16 range since Fields assumed command.
Ford’s Q1 sales increase was less than the overall market. Therefore, market share dropped again as it did during 2014.
Ford recently announced that it is laying off 700 workers at its Michigan Assembly plant in the U.S. that manufactures electric cars, hybrids and small cars. Sales for these vehicles are non-existent.