Ford Drives Past Wall Street's Estimates - TheStreet

Ford

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reduced its operating loss and bested Wall Street estimates of per share results and revenue.

Excluding special items, the automaker reported a second-quarter operating loss of $638 million after taxes, or 21 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had estimated a loss of 48 cents a share. Revenue fell 38% to $27.2 billion. Analysts had estimated $24.8 billion. In the same period a year earlier, Ford lost $1.4 billion or 63 cents a share.

The company said its pre-tax loss excluding special items was $424 million.

With items including a $3.4 billion gain related to recent debt-reduction efforts, net income was $2.3 billion or 69 cents a share. Ford said it reduced automotive debt by $10.1 billion and reduced structural costs by $1.8 billion.

The company ended the quarter with $21 billion in automotive gross cash, compared with $21.3 billion at the end of the first quarter.

"We strengthened our balance sheet, reduced cash outflows and improved our year-over-year financial results despite sharply lower industry volumes," said CFO Louis Booth, in a prepared statement.

CEO Alan Mulally said: "While the business environment remained extremely challenging around the world, we made significant progress on our transformation plan."

Ford said its U.S. market share increased by two points to 16.4%, while its European share rose a half point to 9.0%, its highest second-quarter level in 10 years. It reiterated its expectation that 2009 U.S. industry vehicle sales will total 10.5 million to 11 million. It forecast industry sales in Europe to be 15 million to 15.5 million units, higher than its previous outlook.