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Ford has record profit in North America

Ford’s fourth-quarter revenue rose 5 percent to $36.5 billion, beating analysts’ forecast of $33.5 billion.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Ford’s fourth-quarter revenue rose 5 percent to $36.5 billion, beating analysts’ forecast of $33.5 billion.

DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford is posting record profits in North America, but it’s not enough to quell unease about the company’s prospects elsewhere.

Ford’s shares dropped nearly 5 percent Tuesday after the company said it expects to lose more money in Europe this year and break even in Asia and South America. The final straw for investors: Ford said sales will increase next year but profits should remain about the same, dashing hopes that margins will continue to grow.

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The outlook ‘‘brings overly optimistic investor expectations back in check,’’ Barclays analyst Brian Johnson said in a note to investors.

The number two US automaker posted a record pretax profit of $8.3 billion in North America in 2012, the result of a 6-year turnaround orchestrated by chief executive Alan Mulally. It’s reaching back into that playbook to fix its operations in Europe, where it lost $1.75 billion.

Tuesday, Ford forecast a loss of $2 billion in Europe.

Shares fell 64 cents to $13.14, wiping out most of their gain for this year.

The outlook overshadowed another strong performance in North America last year. Ford made more money on every vehicle because it cut back on deals and added features that US buyers paid a premium for, such as inflatable seatbelts.

Ford is distributing record profit-sharing bonuses of $8,300 to its 45,800 US workers.

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