Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) is showing that the car business can be profitable, even if its guidance in recent weeks has only allowed its shares to tread water. The car giant, which took no bailout, earned a record pretax operating profit of $2.2 billion, and its net income came in at $1.6 billion. This was a story about North America as other markets were not as strong.
Earnings came to $0.40 per share, and sales in total were down by 1% to $32.1 billion. Thomson Reuters had estimates of $0.30 per share and $31.07 billion in sales.
Ford’s total liquidity position was $34.4 billion, an increase of $500 million from the second quarter. The company ended its third quarter with Automotive gross cash of $24.1 billion, exceeding debt by $9.9 billion. This net cash improvement was $1.8 billion year over year and up $400 million from the second quarter.
Ford Credit reported a pretax profit that was in line with its expectations at $393 million. Ford Credit now expects full year pretax profit of about $1.6 billion and total distributions to its parent of about $600 million. Ford Credit continues to project managed receivables at year’s end to be in the range of $85 billion to $90 billion.
For the third straight quarter, Ford North America’s pretax profit exceeded $2 billion, and its operating margin exceeded 10%. As far as why this was a North American quarter, Ford Europe’s results reflected unfavorable market factors and that included the lowest level of industry sales in almost 20 years.
As a reminder, the major markets are closed in the United States today.
JON C. OGG