Ford Motor profit beats street, maintains 2015 profit forecast

Cars are prepared for distribution at a Ford factory on January 13, 2015 in Dagenham, England.
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Ford Motor Co.'s quarterly earnings beat Wall Street earnings expectations on Thursday, and the automaker maintained its 2015 profit forecast.

Excluding special items, fourth-quarter earnings were 26 cents per share, which beat expectations of 23 cents per share by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net income was $52 million, or 1 cent per share, a fall from $3.07 billion a year earlier, when results were boosted by a one-time, $2.1 billion special tax item.

Ford took a one-time charge of $800 million for an accounting change in Venezuela that also shields its future earnings from the volatile currency and operations there.

Ford beats Street on bottom line
Ford beats Street on bottom line

Revenue of $35.9 billion topped expectations of $34.54 billion by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

In North America, Ford made a pretax profit of $6.9 billion in 2014, which will yield an annual bonus for about 50,000 union-represented workers of $6,900 per person, down from $8,800 in 2013.

Ford maintained its forecast for 2015 pretax profit of between $8.5 billion and $9.5 billion.

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On Wednesday, Ford said it was recalling more than 200,000 vehicles from multiple model years to fix problems with doors and seat belts. Many carmakers have been plagued by recalls during the past year that have hit profits.

Nevertheless, the company believes it is well positioned for 2015, according to its CFO. "We said more than a year ago that this year was going to be different," Robert Shanks told CNBC's "Squawk Alley" on Thursday. "We were going to see a lot of effects from an unprecedented introduction of new products last year."

Shanks added that the company would be rolling out new products in 2015 and would also benefit from growing auto sales both in the U.S. and globally.

CNBC contributed to this report.