Ford Shares Drop on Plans for 2014 Investment in 2015 Growth

DETROIT(TheStreet) -- Ford  (F) shares were falling Wednesday after the automaker said 2014 pretax profit will decline from their levels this year, one of the best in the company's recent history, as Ford positions itself for future growth by introducing new products.

Shares were down $1.08, or 6.5%, to $15.62 on Wednesday.

During a conference call with analysts and media, Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said 2014 pretax profit will be between $7 billion and $8 billion, down from about $8.5 billion this year. He said the principal cause will be lower profit in North America due to the rollout of 16 new vehicles during the coming year. The introductions will put Ford in a strong position for 2015, he noted.

"We've had four very strong years of financial results," Shanks said. "We're going to have an increase in global market share this year that's quite meaningful. We do expect coming out of '14 that we will see improving results and improving volume."

Shanks said 2014 will mark the best or second best year for Ford in the past 10 years. But he noted: "Our business is not linear, I've said this over and over again." Spending on new products during the recession enabled Ford to continue growing, he said.

"We are committed to be a much bigger player in the business," he said. "Thats exactly what were doing now -- we're investing in the business everywhere. We have a lot of investments. They will effect, particularly in North America, volume."

In 2014, he said, product rollouts will mean reduced volume in some cases and the need for higher incentives on vehicle models that are being closed out. Also, Ford will confront production capacity limitations during the year.

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