Ford beats on earnings, raises the lower end of its forecast

Ford Motor Co reported a better-than-expected quarterly net profit on Thursday, driven by sales of high-margin pickup trucks and SUVs in the USA market and cost-cutting, and raised the low end of its full-year earnings forecast.

The company said its bottom line advanced to $1.73 billion, or $0.43 per share. This was up from $35.94 billion a year ago.

On average, 20 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.33 per share for the quarter.

Meanwhile, the company's revenue unexpectedly rose to $36.45 billion from $33.3 billion a year earlier. Automotive revenue of $33.6 billion also topped analysts' forecasts.

Earnings per share grew to $0.39 from $0.24 previous year. That's up from 26 cents per share a year earlier.

In pre-market activity, Ford shares were gaining around 1.04 percent to trade at $12.18. Sales were lower in China, North America and the Middle East; they rose in Europe and South America.

The company is seeing higher profits generated by its F-Series pickups in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

USA sales of F-Series pickups were up 14 percent during the quarter. Ford said the average transaction price for its trucks rose $2,800 to $45,400.

Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said more buyers are springing for luxury packages on their trucks to get extras like heated seats and backup cameras. For the first three-quarters of 2017 the effective tax rate is 16.7% and in the third quarter alone the effective tax rate was 10.6%.

New CEO Jim Hackett is under pressure to please Wall Street. Favorable cost performance and market factors helped the results. Ford plans to introduce 13 new electrics and hybrids over the next five years, including a small electric SUV coming in 2020.

Adjusted pretax profit rose almost 40%, from $1.41 billion in the third quarter of 2016 to $1.97 billion.

Revenues rose 0.9% from previous year to $33.65 billion, also topping analysts' view for $32.8 billion.

But Ford's shares have languished.

Income before income taxes was $1.76 billion, higher than $1.39 billion a year ago.

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