We heard things went well for Ford this quarter, but we didn't realize the automaker was making so much money. A $2.1 billion quarterly profit is nearly a billion dollars better than analysts were expecting.
Though Ford managed to produce $ 2.7 billion in profits last year, it wasn't exactly consistent. With a first quarter loss of $1.4 billion, a second quarter profit of $2.3 billion, then a $1 billion profit in the third quarter, and a mere $858 million in profits for the fourth quarter of 2009, the automaker wasn't showing results consistent enough to be considered financially sound. Sure, the profits were there, but they were inconsistent and trending downward.
With a solid start to 2010, Ford is well on its way to the consistent results Wall Street wants to see. Stock prices have been as high as $14.57 per share recently, which is a huge improvement over the $4.71 the stock was trading at last year. As we reported yesterday, analysts are looking for six to eight straight quarters of solid profits before returning the company to investment grade.
The profit is enough for Ford to increase expectations for the rest of the year and boost production by 30,000 vehicles, to 625,000, in the second quarter. Perhaps Ford's biggest challenge is paying down its $34 billion in debt without robbing the R&D fund for future products. A steady stream of desirable products is the only way Ford can continue this success and return to long-term viability.
Source : Ford