For a second consecutive quarter,
put up adjusted earnings that made a mockery of analysts' forecasts.
The automaker had a bottom-line loss of $25 million in the third quarter that reflected a charge for new accounting rules for off balance sheet instruments and a separate expense for a European restructuring.
Before those items, the company earned 15 cents a share in the period, 26 cents better than the consensus loss forecast as compiled by Thomson First Call.
On the bottom line, the automaker lost $25 million, or 1 cent a share, in the quarter compared with a loss of $326 million, or 18 cents a share, last year. Third-quarter revenue was $36.9 billion compared with $39.3 billion last year.
Why the outperformance? The company said in the release that it "continued to make significant progress on cutting costs, building relationships and launching great products." Despite those developments, Ford's worldwide automotive segment still managed to post a pretax loss of $609 million during the third quarter, including a pretax loss of $116 million in North America, and a $494 million pretax loss in its international automotive division.
Elsewhere, Ford said its finance arm scored a half-billion dollars in net income during the quarter because of a lower provision for credit losses, a benign interest-rate environment and the "favorable market valuation of derivative instruments."
In a separate release Ford said balance-sheet receivables were $132 billion at the end of the quarter, down $4 billion from a year ago because of lower lease and retail placement volume and "receivables sold in securitizations and whole-loan sale transactions," deals that are not typically done on disadvantageous terms for the seller.
Ford expects full-year earnings of 95 cents to $1.05 a share from continuing operations, excluding one-time items. The Thomson First Call consensus is for earnings of 72 cents a share.
"Despite increasing competitive pressures in the U.S. and Europe, we remain committed to achieving at least automotive pre-tax breakeven, excluding special items," Ford said.
Ford shares were recently up 26 cents, or 2%, to $12.40 on the Instinet premarket session.