Ford earnings take a dive on investment, slowing sales; workers get $6,900 in profit sharing

Ford Motor Company's pre-tax profits for 2014 took a beating, falling to $6.3 billion, a $2.3-billion drop from 2013, while overall revenues fell from $139.4 billion to $135.8 billion. Net income for 2014, meanwhile, plunged 56 percent, from $7.18 billion to $3.19 billion.

Yeah, those aren't great numbers. While Ford's figures are largely down across the board, some of the weaker numbers aren't too difficult to explain away.

The company launched 24 vehicles across the globe in 2014, including some of its biggest and most important volume models, like the 2015 F-150, as well as iconic offerings like the new Mustang. The result of this is both increased investment as well as a drop in total sales – US market numbers were down 164,000 units compared to 2013. Recall claims and high warranty costs also did a number on the Blue Oval.

"2014 was a solid yet challenging year for Ford - with our investments and a record number of new products launched around the world positioning us for strong growth this year and beyond," Ford CEO Mark Fields said in a statement. Ford's 50,180 UAW workers in the United States will receive profit-sharing checks of $6,900.

In some markets, Ford's fortunes were impacted by outside factors. Europe, for example, recorded more sales (up 70,000 units) and higher revenues (up $2.2 billion), but still reported a $443-million pre-tax loss. Blame was placed on the crumbling Russian economy, which has suffered from sanctions and slumping oil prices.

Despite its troubles last year, the company still seems bullish on 2015. Ford's pre-tax outlook remains unchanged, as the company expects to make anywhere from $8.5 to $9.5 billion on the back of higher revenue from the company's automotive operations.

We expect strong growth and improved financial performance in 2015 driven by our investments in new products and capacity," Ford CFO Bob Shanks said of the company's future.

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