Earnings on Deck: What to Expect From Ford

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When Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) reports first-quarter results before markets open Friday, the company is expected to post earnings per share (EPS) of $0.31 on revenues of $34.06 billion. If that pans out, Ford’s EPS will have fallen by about 25% year-over-year, and its revenues will have risen by about 0.5%. Not exactly heart-stopping performance.

The company announced earlier this week that its head of North American operations, Mark Fields, had been appointed as COO and that CEO Alan Mulally will step down later this year. The company did not say Fields would replace Mulally, but that is clearly the inference we are to draw.

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One thing we could hear when Ford reports tomorrow is when the change at the top will take place, but that is doubtful given that Fields was just named COO. More likely we will hear about the introduction of the company’s new F-150 pickup with its aluminum body that shaves 700 pounds of the vehicle’s weight and provides better gas mileage.

We would like to hear more about the company’s sales in China, where it trails rivals Volkswagen, General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), Nissan and Hyundai in annual sales. But the company’s first-quarter sales came close to meeting those of Nissan and beat Hyundai sales for the second month in a row in the world’s largest car market. Ford has already passed Toyota Motor Co. (NYSE: TM) to take over fifth place in sales.

Ford got little pre-announcement boost Thursday, up just 0.5% at $16.31 in a 52-week range of $13.35 to $18.02.

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