Ford Motor Co. posted better-than-expected profits for the second quarter and hiked its earnings and sales forecasts for 2013. Robust U.S. pickup truck demand and growing sales in China offset ongoing -- but narrowing - financial losses in Europe. Ford earned $1.23 billion in the April-June period, up 19 percent from a year ago. Revenue jumped 14 percent to $38.1 billion, easily topping analysts' projections of $34.9 billion. A look at what analysts and experts have to say about Ford's second-quarter results.
"On the whole, we expect the solid international results to attract some longer-term investors into Ford, who may like the North America story, but had been concerned with international headwinds for some time. Indeed, the results provide some comfort that breakeven in Europe is achievable, and South America losses will be contained. We note, however, that one offset on the quarter for the "uber-bulls" is the North America margin, which came in at 10.4%, below our estimate of 10.9%, and likely below the view of many for a 12%+ result. Although a 10.4% margin is indeed very impressive, and Ford's North America business continues to fire on all cylinders, this likely goes contrary to the hopes of some investors who were looking for Ford to capitalize on its operating leverage in a thriving industry. It is becoming increasingly clear that Ford will not allow its North American margins to run higher, instead preferring to reinvest in the long-term success of the business."
-- Barclays analyst Brian A. Johnson
"They still have the Europe economic headwinds in their face but maybe it's not blowing quite so hard."
-- Gary Bradshaw, portfolio manager with Hodges Capital Management in Dallas
"There is a bit of a turning point here in the sense that it's the first time we've had heard good news incrementally out of Ford in Europe."
-- Citi analyst Itay Michaeli
"The general market shift from small, economy sedans to midsize sedans and compact SUVs has benefited Ford. The timing of the all-new Escape and Fusion couldn't have been better, as those are two very strong models in two robust and growing segments. But even the Ford F-150, now one of the oldest trucks on the market, is selling well because of the recent growth in truck sales combined with Ford's longstanding loyalty in that segment. This is particularly impressive given the newer competition coming from Ram and Silverado. Truck sales should still be growing when the all-new 2015 F-150 hits showrooms next year, which should allow Ford to extend its momentum well into calendar 2015 and beyond."
-- Karl Brauer, senior analyst, Kelley Blue Book