2018 Ford Super Duty Limited | Courtesy of Ford Motor Co.

With fourth-quarter earnings season in full swing, local Ford employees last week received some good news about profit sharing.

Ford’s full-time hourly union workers will receive an average of $7,600 each in profit sharing on March 14 based on the company’s 2018 results, which the automaker released Thursday.

Since 2015, eligible full-time hourly workers have received an average of $40,000 in profit sharing, excluding the dollars for 2018, Ford told Insider via email.

The company has about 7,600 full-time hourly workers at Kentucky Truck Plant, who primarily make the Super Duty truck, and about 4,100 at Louisville Assembly Plant, who primarily make the Escape. The workers are represented by United Auto Workers Local 862.

Both Louisville-made vehicles also got a shout-out in the fourth-quarter earnings report, in which Ford said that it incurred a loss of $116 million on revenue of $41.8 billion. For the full year, the company said it made a net profit of nearly $3.7 billion on revenue of $160 billion.

In the earnings call, Executive Vice President James Farley said that the Super Duty was “one of the big drivers” in North America that boosted the F-Series’ average transaction price, which was $2,000 above the average in its segment. Ford previously said that the price has been boosted by customers choosing higher-end models. The Super Duty starts at just over $33,000, but in September, for example, the average transaction price was $59,100.

Farley also said that Ford generated strong results in North America in 2018 “from a largely carryover product lineup … (with) modest new product launches like the new Expedition, Edge and Navigator.

“This year,” he said, “we’re beginning our complete refresh of our North America lineup. … And later in the year, we have the all-new Escape and Escape Hybrid, which will be a new product in the largest U.S. segment in our industry.”

He also emphasized that the company increasingly has to focus on China. Farley said, “China is the largest automotive market in the world, and we think it could be twice the size of the U.S. by 2025.”

Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said that Ford’s results last year were negatively affected by $750 million in tariff-related costs and $1.1 billion of increased commodity costs unrelated to tariffs.

Stock Yards, Limestone earnings

Three Louisville-based financial institutions also reported quarterly earnings last week.

Stock Yards Bancorp said its fourth-quarter net income nearly tripled from a year earlier to $14.7 million. That’s thanks in part to higher net interest income, up nearly $4 million, lower non-interest expenses, down nearly $2.5 million, and lower income taxes, down more than $3 million.

Republic Bancorp said fourth-quarter net income, at $17.3 million, rose nearly $12.5 million, because of higher net interest income, which rose $3.6 million, and lower taxes, which fell by $8.8 million.

And Louisville-based Limestone Bancorp said last week that its income before taxes, at $3 million, more than doubled from a year earlier, primarily thanks to higher net interest income, which rose 8.8 percent, and lower non-interest expenses, which fell 19.3 percent.

Earnings announcements of interest to Louisvillians will continue next week with some major local employers, including Humana on Feb. 6, and UPS a day later.

Boris Ladwig
Boris Ladwig is a reporter with more than 20 years of experience and has won awards from multiple journalism organizations in Indiana and Kentucky for feature series, news, First Amendment/community affairs, nondeadline news, criminal justice, business and investigative reporting. As part of The (Columbus, Indiana) Republic’s staff, he also won the Kent Cooper award, the top honor given by the Associated Press Managing Editors for the best overall news writing in the state. A graduate of Indiana State University, he is a soccer aficionado (Borussia Dortmund and 1. FC Köln), singer and travel enthusiast who has visited countries on five continents. He speaks fluent German, rudimentary French and bits of Spanish, Italian, Khmer and Mandarin.