Profit at Ford’s core business of selling cars and trucks continued to lag, particularly in North America, where it has been steadily losing market share for a decade.
For the quarter, Ford reported net income of $104 million, or 6 cents a share. The small profit represented a big turnaround from the fourth quarter of 2003, when the company lost $793 million, or 43 cents a share. Excluding special items, Ford’s earnings per share for the quarter were 28 cents, slightly more than the 27 cents that analysts had forecast. Revenue slipped to $44.7 billion, from $45.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2003.
Ford’s financial services division, Ford Motor Credit, continued to be the company’s major profit center. It showed net income of $543 million for the fourth quarter, compared with $470 million in the year-earlier period. By contrast, Ford’s global automotive division posted a pretax loss $470 million for the quarter, compared with a profit of $13 million before taxes a year earlier.
Although not mentioned in their report, minorities have been especially profitable for Ford.
The development of the credit system takes place as a reaction against usury. But this should not be misunderstood, nor interpreted in the manner of the ancient writers, the church fathers, Luther, or the older socialists. It signifies no more and no less than the subordination of interest-bearing capital to the conditions and requirements of the capitalist mode of production.
On the whole, interest-bearing capital under the modern credit-system is adapted to the conditions of the capitalist mode of production. Usury as such does not merely perpetuate itself, but is even freed by nations with a developed capitalist production from those fetters, which were imposed upon it by the old legislation.