Ford raised its full-year profit guidance Thursday after a strong third quarter that saw improving sales worldwide, including in past trouble spots like Europe and South America. | AP Photo
Updated: October 24, 2013 9:01AM
DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford raised its full-year profit guidance after a strong third quarter that saw improving sales worldwide, including in past trouble spots like Europe and South America.
Ford earned $1.3 billion, or 31 cents per share, down 14 percent from a year ago. The decline was due to special items, including a $250 million charge for restructuring in Europe. Without those, Dearborn-based Ford Motor Co. reported a pretax profit of $2.6 billion, or 45 cents per share. That was a record for the third quarter.
Revenue rose 12 percent to $36 billion. Ford sold 1.5 million cars and trucks in the quarter, up 16 percent.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally repeated that there’s no change in the plan for him to stay as CEO through the end of 2014. He said on the company’s third-quarter earnings conference call Thursday that nothing has changed from the leadership plan announced last November.
Microsoft Corp. is reportedly considering Mulally as CEO Steve Ballmer’s replacement when he steps down in less than a year. Mulally hasn’t denied reports that Microsoft is courting him.
Ford increased sales and gained market share in each of its regions thanks to an influx of new vehicles.
“The breadth, the depth and the quality of the growth is very encouraging,” Ford’s Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks told reporters Thursday morning.
In Asia, where sales of the new Kuga and EcoSport SUVs have been strong, Ford’s pretax profit more than doubled to $126 million. In South America, where Ford had been plagued by currency issues and dated products, the new Ranger pickup and revamped Fiesta helped increase pretax profits by $150 million to $159 million compared with a year ago.
In North America, Ford earned $2.3 billion, the same as a year ago. Ford’s share of the market rose, but that was offset by lower prices and discounting on the F-Series pickup, which is now older than rival trucks from General Motors and Chrysler.
In Europe, Ford’s pretax losses were halved to $228 million. The company said it now expects to lose less than the $1.75 billion it lost in Europe a year ago.
Ford beat Wall Street’s expectations. Analysts polled by FactSet forecast earnings of 37 cents on revenue of $33.6 billion.
Ford previously said it expected its full-year pretax profit to be equal to or higher than its $8 billion profit in 2012. Now it expects to exceed that. Ford also expects lower European losses.