UPDATE 2-Ford takes $800 mln charge on Venezuelan currency woes

viernes 23 de enero de 2015 18:34 GYT

(Adds analyst comment, details of Ford operations in Venezuela.)

By Bernie Woodall

Jan 23 (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co said on Friday it was taking a charge related to its Venezuelan operations that will cut fourth-quarter net profit by $700 million, as companies scramble to shield their bottom lines from the country's volatile currency.

For more than a year Ford has said its ability to get auto parts for its operations in Venezuela have been hampered by the valuation of the Venezuelan bolivar, and made the accounting change effective Dec. 31.

The move will cause a one-time pre-tax special item charge in the quarter of $800 million. Still, Ford said its estimate for 2014 full-year pre-tax profit was unchanged at about $6 billion.

Ford's announcement came on the same day that Kimberly-Clark Corp said it took a $462 million charge in the quarter due to changes in the Venezuelan exchange rate. General Motors Co , Clorox, Procter & Gamble, Baker Hughes and Brink's have also taken hits to their respective bottom lines in the past year because of the bolivar.

The accounting change "does not have an impact on Ford's Venezuelan operations or ownership," Ford said. Ford shares fell 0.8 percent to $14.91, in line with session's move by the Dow Jones industrial average.

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday shook up complex currency controls in the socialist-run country, where a dollar can fetch more than 180 bolivars on the black market instead of the country's three-tiered exchange rate system that has ranged from 6.3 bolivars to about 50 bolivars to the dollar.