Ford beats expectations as profits rise 18.6% in second quarter

Ford beats expectations as profits rise 18.6% in second quarter
Tue, Jul 23 detroitnews.com

US-TRANSPORT-AUTO-SHOWDearborn— Ford Motor Co. beat analysts’ expectations as profits rose to $1.23 billion during the second quarter, led by the highest second-quarter North American profit since at least 2000.

The Dearborn automaker’s profits rose for the 16th consecutive quarter, the company said Wednesday, up 18.6 percent to 45 cents per share, compared to last year’s second quarter, when the company posted a $1 billion profit, or 30 cents per share.

This year’s first-quarter earnings per share also topped first-call analyst expectations of 37 cents per share.

Revenue jumped about 14.4 percent to $38.1 billion.

Ford also upped some full-year expectations, including 2013 pre-tax profits, which now could top 2012’s $8 billion total. The automaker also revised upward its prediction for U.S. industry sales to 15.5 to 16 million units.

True to recent form, Ford’s bread and butter remained North America, where the Dearborn automaker posted a $2.3 billion profit.

Ford “fired on all cylinders,” during the second quarter, said Jesse Toprak, senior analyst at TrueCar. The second quarter also included 15 percent sales growth and nearly a full percentage point market share gain.

“Ford’s average transaction prices increased by nearly $1,400 for the same period, impressive considering incentives are up nearly $500 (per) unit, larger than the industry average,” Toprak said in a statement.

Ford’s profit margin in North America was 10.4 percent, continuing to set the pace among mass-market automakers.

But North American profits were once again partially offset by losses across the globe.

In Europe, the automaker lost $348 million — less than the $404 million it lost there during the second quarter of last year — and Ford changed its full-year projections.

Ford expected to lose $2 billion in Europe this year as auto sales

have hit 20-year lows, but revised that figure Wednesday to say it projects losses of about $1.8 billion, about the same as 2012. The company’s regional restructuring effort is under way. Ford will close two U.K. plants by the end of the month and an assembly plant in Belgium early next year.

Ford’s Asia Pacific Africa region posted its best-ever quarterly profit of $177 million.

Ford shares traded at $16.94 before Wednesday’s opening bell, up from about $9 at this time last year.

•Ford Motor Co. beat analysts’ expectations as profits rose to $1.23 billion during the second quarter, led by the highest second-quarter North American profit since at least 2000.

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