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Ford Shifts Gears In Europe

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Ford Shifts Gears In Europe

Shares of Ford (NYSE:F) were sent racing to the upside on Thursday morning after the legendary automaker reported improved third quarter sales. The company unexpectedly raised its full-year profit guidance after a record third quarter which witnessed improving sales worldwide. The company had previously stated that it expected its full-year pretax profit to be equal to or higher than its $8 billion profit last year. Ford now expects to exceed these results as its European business segment has begun to gain steam. Ford earned $1.3 billion, or 31 cents per share, down 14 percent from a year ago.

Without costly one-time items during the quarter, including a $250 million charge for restructuring in Europe, the company reported a pretax profit of $2.6 billion, or 45 cents per share. Using these figures, Ford registered a record for the third quarter. On the top line the company reported its revenues rose 12 percent to $36 billion. Stronger than anticipated revenues allowed the company to beat analyst consensus estimates for the quarter. The experts on Wall Street forecast earnings of 37 cents on revenue of $33.6 billion.

Going forward, the company must continue to see improving sales out of Europe. Over the last couple years its Americas segment has been the significant source of growth. The housing recovery here in the U.S. has allowed the company to sell more of its higher price, and margin, trucks. Should the housing recovery continue, alongside an economic recovery in Europe, the company could start to register some serious growth. Shares of Ford traded higher by 3.33 percent in the extended hours session to $18.10 at the time of this writing. In the coming days it remains likely we see more guidance from analysts as they consider the unexpected growth during the quarter.

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