Ford Motor Posts Solid Quarterly Earnings

Ford Motor Co posted net income of $1.9 billion during the just ended third quarter equal to 48 cents per share, which is over double the $835 million that it reported in the same period one year ago, as strong results in its core market in the U.S. offset weaknesses across emerging markets.

North American business for Ford, which benefited from higher prices per transaction and demand for trucks that are more profitable, reached a recorded operating profit of just over $2.7 billion for the quarter, up steeply from its $1.4 billion during the same quarter one year ago.

The company reported operating margins for the region of over 11.3%, which were slightly lower that General Motors who reported 11.8%, in its results last quarter.

While the margins at Ford are rich, CFO Bob Shanks told the press on Tuesday that profitability for the fourth quarter would be affected negatively by seasonal costs that are higher and possible payouts in relation to a new deal with labor unions.

The results for the automaker come at a time when automakers in Detroit are negotiating new agreements for four years with United Auto Workers.

With auto sales in the U.S. at their highest in over a decade, workers have demanded increases in pay and changes to the structure in compensations that were put into place when the big three automakers were bleeding in their own home market.

Ford, like many of its global rivals, is relying on profits in North America to be the stabilizing factor in operations when China demand has cooled off and other markets considered to be big in potential, including both Brazil and Russia, are currently in disarray.

Western Europe volumes mounted a steady rebound from the collapse of early this decade, but Ford has not yet reached profitability there.

Operating earnings that were 45 cents per share for its third quarter missed the expectations on Wall Street of 46 cents per share, but Ford attributed its miss to the using of a higher tax rates rather than one used in projections used by analysts.