Ford's Shrinking Profits Surpass Forecasts

Fords (NYSE:F) second-quarter profits shrank slightly, but the auto makers results easily exceeded Wall Streets expectations.

The earnings beat from Ford sent shares of the auto giant climbing ahead of Tuesdays opening bell.

Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford said it earned $2.4 billion, or 59 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $2.6 billion, or 61 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items related to layoffs and dealer actions, it earned 65 cents a share, topping the Streets view by 5 cents.

Ford said its revenue climbed 13% to $35.5 billion, compared with consensus calls from analysts for just $31.58 billion.

We delivered very good second quarter results while growing the business globally and serving more customers in every region," CEO Alan Mulally said in a statement. "Despite an uncertain business environment, we further strengthened our balance sheet and continued to invest for the future."

Led by a $1.9 billion pre-tax profit in North America, Ford posted profits in South America, Europe and Asia Pacific Africa.

In another positive sign, Ford said it ended the second quarter with $32.2 billion in total automotive liquidity, up by $4.3 billion.

Despite recent turbulence in the economy, Ford said it is maintaining its full-year industry sales outlook in the range of 13 million to 13.5 million units. However, the auto maker slightly lowered its European forecast due to some sign of weakness related to the debt crisis and fiscal austerity programs there

Shares of Ford gained 1.97% to $13.43 in Tuesdays premarkets, cutting into their 2011 loss of nearly 20%.

Rival Chrysler on Tuesday disclosed a net loss of $370 million due to charges related to repaying the U.S. Excluding those costs, it operated at a profit of $181 million. General Motors (NYSE:GM) is slated to report results next week.