Breaking! Ford Announces Confusing Earnings Restatement — What's A Few Hundred Million Anyway?

FoMoCo finally announced a much anticipated earnings restatement today. Why much anticipated? Well, because if the numbers restated were restated up, that'd be a welcome bit of news for Alan Mulally (and more importantly, for FoMoCo CFO Don LeClair, already on tenuous ground with investors and you know, like — everyone) — however, if the numbers were on the not-so-good side, there'd be some serious hell to pay — and one would expect LeClair would be out the door before the end of the week. Luckily for the man sort of named after a log-shaped and cream-filled pastry — the numbers were up — but here's a better question — by how much? Well, the local Detroit dailies seem to be a bit confused on that one — Sarah Webster over at the Freep's claiming "Ford earned $1.2 billion more over the past 5 years than previously reported." But at the cross-town rival Detroit News, they've gone with the numbers...

...posted by the AP's Tom Krisher — $850 million. We're not really sure why there's a discrepancy, so we're just going to put it to you like this — FoMoCo fluffed up their numbers by enough to almost overcome the money they lost in one month during the third quarter of '06. Hmm — when I put it that way, methinks they need to find a few more of those accounting irregularities before anyone over in the glass house in Dearborn starts a-crowin'.

Ford earned $1.2 billion more over the past 5 years than previously reported [Freep]
Ford restates earnings to show smaller profits and losses [Detroit News]

Related:
Breaking Yesterday! Try Not To Smack Your Head On The Low Bar Of October Sales Expectations [internal]