NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Ford (F - Get Report) posted profits of 46 cents a share in the first quarter, beating analysts' expectations and further supporting the notion that the Dearborn, Mich., company has emerged from the global financial meltdown with vengeance.
The largest U.S.-based automaker has gained nearly 155% over the last year, closing at $13.58 on Thursday, driven primarily by strong sales, improved operations and higher profits in its financial services arm.
Some ways to reap the benefits of Ford's success include:
- Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY), which allocates nearly 4% of its assets to Ford. XLY closed at $35.56 on Thursday.
- Vanguard Consumer Discretionary ETF (VCR), which allocates nearly 2.3% of its assets to Ford. VCR closed at $56.88 on Thursday.
Ford witnessed revenue growth in nearly all the regions in which it operates, growth attributable to favorable net pricing, higher volume and mix. In North America, revenue rose by 21%, generating profits of $1.2 billion. Another factor that likely aided in boosting revenue was Ford's focus on new vehicles that are fuel efficient and innovative.A similar trend was seen south of the border as revenue rose 43%; in Asia and Africa, where revenue rose 33%; and in Europe, where revenue expanded to $7.7 billion, a jump of 33%. Additionally, Ford implemented measures which increased efficiency and lowered material costs which helped boost profitability in these regions. As for the financial services arm of the automaker, Ford Credit reported a pretax operating profit of $828 million, driven by lower depreciation expense for leased vehicles and a lower provision for credit losses.
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