Ford records its best first-quarter profits in 13 years
Ford reported its best first-quarter profit in 13 years, driven by strong sales in its home market and demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Ford also said yesterday that last month's earthquake, which has hurt the supply chain in Japan, has had "minimal" impact on its business, and analysts said Ford may even stand to gain.
"Ford continues to get market share. We expect this trend will continue," said Channing Smith, co-manager of Capital Advisors Growth Fund, which owns Ford shares. "I think Ford and a lot of the other American automakers will take market share from the Japanese."
Ford is the first US automaker to report earnings since the March earthquake in Japan jolted the global supply chain, especially for Japanese makers.
While Japanese automakers Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co have said they expected deep cuts in production this year, Ford said its business will not be greatly affected.
Lewis Booth, Ford's chief financial officer, said that so far production in Asia has fallen by about 12 to 14 since the earthquake.
the automaker has lost about 12,000 to 14,000 vehicles of production in Asia, where it has shut several plants temporarily.
Ford beat quarterly earnings expectations by 12 cents a share, which helped send the company's shares up 3.5pc to $16.09 (€10.99) in trading before the market opened.
Its fourth-quarter 2010 results missed analyst expectations by a wide mark, ending a string of quarters in which Ford was able to easily exceed expectations.
Any near-term production losses are likely to recover in late 2011 and into 2012, Ford said.
Production in Ford's business regions outside of Asia have not yet seen much change.
Net income rose to $2.55bn, or 61 cents a share, compared with $2.09bn, or 50 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. It was the highest first-quarter net income since 1998.
Revenue rose to $33.1bn from $28.1bn last year. Analysts had expected $29.7bn. (Reuters)