Ford said on Friday annual profit doubled in 2010 to its highest earnings in more than a decade, as the second-biggest US automaker posted strong worldwide results and paid down debt.
For all of 2010, Ford reported net income of $6.6 billion, or $1.66 earnings per share, up 135 % from 2009.
The earnings came in below analysts' forecasts of $2.08 earnings per share.
"This was Ford's highest net income in more than 10 years, as strong products and new investments fueled improvements in all of the company's business operations around the world," the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker said in a statement.
Ford, the only one of the major US automakers that did not take a government bailout, reported its seventh consecutive quarterly profit, despite a large charge related to paying down debt.
Fourth-quarter profit fell to $190 million, from $886 million in the same period in 2009, with earnings per share of five cents that were well below the 48 cents expected.
The company took a $960 million charge in the October-December period for actions that reduced outstanding automotive debt by more than $1.9 billion.
Ford said for all of 2010 it had slashed automotive debt by $14.5 billion, or 43 %, as it sought to strengthen its balance sheet.
Worldwide revenue for the full year rose 4.0 % to $120.9 billion, better than the average estimate of $119.4 billion.
In the fourth quarter, sales came in at $32.5 billion, topping estimates of $30.57 billion.
"Our 2010 results exceeded our expectations, accelerating our transition from fixing the business fundamentals to delivering profitable growth for all," Alan Mulally, Ford president and chief executive, said in a statement.
"We are investing in an unprecedented amount of products, technology and growth in all regions of the world."
As a result of the banner year, the company said, it will pay profit sharing to approximately 40,600 eligible US hourly employees, with the average amount expected to be about $5,000.