Ford said earnings for the three months ending in December would come in at around 30 cents per share, 2 cents shy of the consensus Street forecast, but hinted that current year profits could improve even as global markets remain under pressure from new emissions standards, trade tensions and slowing economic growth.
"For 2019, we see the potential for year-over-year improvement in company revenue, EBIT and adjusted operating cash flow," said CFO Bob Shanks. "We expect to be able to fully fund our business needs, while maintaining cash and liquidity levels at or above our target levels."
Ford shares fell 6.2% to $8.29 at the close of trading Wednesday.
Ford said full year 2018 adjusted earnings could likely come in at $1.30 share, with global revenues of $160.3 billion, largely in-line with the company's October guidance.
Last week, Ford said it will review its operations in Russia, combine its U.K. headquarters just outside of London and shutting a transmission plant in France as part of a regional overhaul aimed at turning its European operations into profit.
Ford also said job cuts in its 53,000-strong workforce would follow, but hoped "as far as possible" they would come through voluntary action.
European passenger car sales fell for a fourth consecutive month in December, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association said Wednesday, with registrations down 8.4% from the same period last year.
China's automobile market, the world's largest, recorded its first annual decline in more than two decades last year as new car sales slumped amid a slowing economy and rising trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.
The China Passenger Car Association said Wednesday that sale fell 6% over the whole of 2018 to just over 22.7 million units. That figure is firmly ahead of the 17.5 million tally recorded in the U.S., but shows the first year-on-year decline since the early 1990s.