Strong pricing helps Ford hold up its earnings

FORD Motor’s quarterly profit topped Wall Street expectations yesterday due to higher North American vehicle sales and the higher prices consumers are paying globally for cars such as the Focus and Fiesta.

Ford, the only US automaker that did not accept a government bailout in 2009, has posted a net profit for eight straight quarters.

Ford’s net income in the second quarter fell to $2.4bn, or 59 cents per share, from $2.6bn or 61 cents per share as it reduced debt by $2.6bn to $14bn.

Excluding one-time items, Ford’s quarterly profit of 65 cents per share was five cents better than analysts expected.

In North America, Ford’s pre-tax profit for the second quarter rose 0.5 per cent to $1.91bn. Revenue rose 13 per cent to $35.5bn. Analysts had expected $31.6bn.

Smaller rival Chrysler, which is currently merging its operations with Fiat, also reported yesterday. It posted a wider second-quarter net loss of $370m after the US automaker repaid $7.6bn in debt stemming from its 2009 federal bailout.

Chrysler’s revenues rose 30 per cent on a 19 per cent jump in car and truck sales, however.