U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co. said Friday it took a one-time accounting benefit that propelled its fourth quarter net income to $13.6 billion.
It was the most ever for Ford in a fourth quarter and helped put the company in the black for the third consecutive year.
Ford's fourth quarter report said the firm posted an operating profit of $1.1 billion, or 20 cents a share, a sharp drop from the fourth quarter of 2010, when profits were at 30 cents a share. Ford's one-time accounting adjustment was worth $12.4 billion, increasing its 2011 net earnings to $20.2 billion.
Ford, the only major U.S. automaker to avoid bankruptcy in 2009, has earned a profit for three consecutive years.
Revenue for the fourth quarter hit $34.6 billion, but investors were not appeased by the report, which showed pre-tax automotive operating profit of $596 million for the fourth quarter and $2.4 billion for the full year.
Ford said its hourly workers can expect a semi-annual bonus check of about $3,760 each, putting their annual bonus in 2011 at about $6,200 per worker.
Ford reported a pre-tax operating profit of $889 million in the fourth quarter in North America, up from $670 million a year earlier. In South America, the company posted an operating profit of $108 million, compared with profits of $281 million a year ago.
In Europe, fourth quarter losses grew from $51 million in 2010 to $190 million in 2011.