Ford Motor quarterly profit matches Street expectations

By By Bernie WoodallMarketsReuters

Ford Motor Co earnings in the fourth quarter matched analyst expectations on Thursday, and the No. 2 U.S. automaker maintained a forecast for 2017 that calls for less profit than 2016.

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Ford reported a loss of $783 million, or 20 cents a share, in the quarter because of a $3 billion non-cash accounting remeasurement announced last week. Still, excluding special items, Ford's profit was 30 cents a share, matching the estimates of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

After taxes, the pension remeasurement was $2 billion.

Ford shares were down 1 percent in premarket trading at $12.66.

Another one-time charge was a $200 million expense related to canceling a $1.6 billion small car plant in Mexico. Even with that expense, Ford was able to save $500 million by moving production planned for the plant to another one in Mexico.

The company said the plant closed because of slack demand for small cars and not directly due to harsh criticism by U.S. President Donald Trump prior to and after his November election.

Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said on Thursday Ford will await specific policies of the Trump administration for an idea of how they will affect the company's plans.

"We are watching," Shanks said.

(Editing by Franklin Paul and Bernadette Baum)