U.S. Markets close in 5 hrs 38 mins

Ford on Track for New High Following Earnings

Paul Ausick

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) reported third-quarter 2013 results before markets opened Thursday morning. The automaker posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.45 on revenues of $36.0 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.41 on revenues of $32.1 billion. Third-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.37 and $33.9 billion in revenues.

On a GAAP basis, Ford reported EPS of $0.31, which includes a $250 million charge for restructuring in Europe, a $145 million in a lump-sum payment to the U.S. pension program and $103 million in foreign currency translation effects.

Ford essentially reiterated its forecast for the year, calling for pre-tax profit to be "higher" than the $8 billion in profit booked in 2012. Operating margin also is expected to be "higher" than 2012's reading of 5.3%, and automotive cash flow is expected to be "substantially higher" than last year's $3.4 billion. The consensus analysts' estimate for 2013 EPS has risen from $1.43 at the end of the first quarter to $1.55.

The company's CEO:

Ford's record results in the third quarter show the strength of our One Ford plan around the world. Working together, we remain committed to serving customers in all markets with a full family of vehicles, offering the very best quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value.

Ford continues to expect full-year operating margins in North America to come in around 10%.

Expected results in South America continue to be about break-even for the full year. Ford's operating margin for the quarter rose to 5.6%, from 0.4% a year ago, and for the first nine months of the fiscal year the company's margin rose to 1.1%.

Ford expects its pre-tax loss in Europe to be smaller than last year's. Through the first nine months of 2013, the company's operating loss in Europe is $1.04 billion, compared with $1.02 billion in the same period a year ago. The operating margin remained -3.5% in the third quarter.

The company continues to expect its Asia/Pacific/Africa business to be profitable in 2013. Operating margin in the third quarter rose by 2.7 points to 4.4%.

Ford shares were up about 3.6% in premarket trading to $18.16, above the 52-week range of $10.01 to $17.77. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $19.20 before this report.