Ford Reports Profits of $2.1 Billion First Quarter
The Ford Motor Company had its best quarterly performance in six years, earning $2.1 billion, and is a year ahead of its previous target for profitability even though the market for new vehicles remains near recent lows, executives said Tuesday.
The profit is evidence of how much Ford has managed to increase sales with new products but also a clear indication of how deeply the automaker has shrunk its operations by closing plants and eliminating tens of thousands of jobs to cut costs.
The last time Ford earned a quarterly operating profit of $2 billion, in 2004, automakers sold nearly 17 million vehicles in the United States. This year, Ford expects industry sales to be less than 12 million.
Based on its first-quarter results, Ford said it now expects “solid profits” and positive cash flow from its automotive operations for 2010, a year sooner than its earlier forecasts. The net profit was equal to 50 cents a share, compared with a loss of $1.4 billion, or 60 cents a share, one year ago.