Ford's Big Quarter

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) posted the kind of quarter investors have wanted for over a year. Whatever troubles it has had with financials or production were left behind. Management proved it could navigate toward an electric vehicle (EV) future while driving huge profits from its old-line businesses. (These 20 cars have been completely redesigned for 2023.)

Earnings of $0.44 per share compared to a per-share loss of $0.78 in the same period of last year. Revenue hit $41.5 billion, up from $34.5 billion. Ford said much of the success came from “iconic” gasoline-powered vehicles. As it steps into the future, its past may be the foundation of its success for some time.

Chief Executive Jim Farley hinted at problems in the past and indicated they would not be problems in the future: “I hope that becomes a trend at Ford, boringly predictable when it comes to execution and delivering financials, but extremely ambitious in dynamically creating the Ford of the future.”

Ford Blue, which included gasoline-powered and hybrid vehicles, posted first-quarter revenue of $25.1 billion and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of $2.6 billion. Ford Model e, the EV division, had an EBIT loss of $722 million on virtually no revenue. Ford management has said it will rely on this division for most of its revenue. It is impossible to say when this will happen.

If Ford can string together several quarters like this, it will return to its place as a well-run, major U.S. manufacturer.

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