Ford Posts 'Only' $1.4 Billion Net Loss in Q1 2009, Significantly Lower than Q4 2008

Losing money is never a good thing, but in Ford Motor Company's case, the $1.4 billion first quarter net loss was positive news as it was lower than analysts had anticipated and more importantly, significantly improved over the fourth quarter of 2008 when the automaker posted a $5.9 billion net loss. On an after-tax basis, Ford's first quarter operating loss, excluding special items, was $1.8 billion, compared with a profit of $477 million a year ago. Unlike Chrysler and General Motors, Ford continues its restructuring plan without a government aid.

"Our results in the first quarter reflected the extremely difficult business environment and weak demand for autos around the world," said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally in a statement issued by the company. "Despite the challenges, Ford made strong progress on our transformation plan by gaining share with strong new products, slowing operating-related cash outflows, reducing outstanding debt, lowering our structural costs and reaching new agreements with the UAW."

The company also said that based on current planning assumptions, "it remains on track to meet or beat its financial targets, including the target for its overall and North American Automotive pre-tax results to be breakeven or better in 2011, excluding special items."