Ford Motor earnings rise, beat estimates – USA TODAY

Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ford Motor bounced back from its bleak first quarter, beating analysts’ estimates with second quarter profit, excluding one-time items, of $2.6 billion or 40 cents per share, the automaker announced Thursday. That topped the 36 cents analysts forecast.

The company’s $2.6 billion pre-tax profit was its 20th consecutive profitable quarter and its best since the second quarter of 2011. The company also affirmed its full-year pre-tax profit guidance of $7 billion to $8 billion.

The news sent Ford’s stock up .22% in pre-market trading to $17.78.

J.P. Morgan auto analyst Ryan Brinkman said Ford’s North America result “is all the more impressive considering the company’s most important product – the F-150 pickup truck – is approaching the end of its current product cycle.” He highlighted Ford’s “surprise profit” in Europe, where General Motors said Thursday it continued to lose.

Ford’s overall second-quarter net income was $1.3 billion, or 32 cents per share, an increase of $78 million, or 2 cents, from a year ago.

“Moving forward, our commitment is to build on this success by accelerating our pace of progress, while delivering product excellence and driving innovation in all areas of our business,” said CEO Mark Fields, who took the reins from CEO Alan Mulally on July 1.

Sales to dealers fell 1% as Ford’s market share slipped in every region except Asia Pacific. Even so, the company’s operating margin was up 0.2 of a percent, to 6.6%.

“Our second quarter results demonstrate the underlying strength of our business,” said CFO Bob Shanks. “We are delivering strong results in a year of aggressive global product launches and difficult external conditions in many parts of the world….”

Earlier this month, Ford said its European sales rose by 6.6% in the first half of 2014, slightly outpacing the overall industry uptick of 6.3%.

Ford also continues to gain momentum in China where it is a relative newcomer, but South America continues to be a problem.

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