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Ford's surprise: a quarterly profit

Ford headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan

TEXT OF STORY

Renita Jablonski: This earning's season's been tough for a lot of companies. Ford was on the list of the ones investors thought would see a big loss. But what a 180 from this time last year. The Ford Motor Company posted a profit for the first quarter. Alisa Roth explains the turnaround.


Alisa Roth: For a while now, Ford's had the dubious honor of being considered the worst off of the struggling Big Three. Today, the company says it earned a surprising $100 million dollars in the first quarter. (In the first quarter of last year, it lost money.) Ford's still not making money in North America, but it is finding profits elsewhere. Robert Schulz follows the auto industry for Standard & Poor's.

Robert Schulz: What's interesting is in the face of huge challenges in the U.S. and U.S. light vehicle sales probably reaching at least a 10-year low this year, we've been watching the rest of the world and the rest of the world seems to be holding up in terms of the economies and the sales, at least so far.

Analysts had expected Ford to lose money again this quarter. The company's still expected to post overall losses for the year, but much less than last year. Like other carmakers, Ford's been having a hard time lately, because consumers are buying fewer cars and the raw materials are getting more expensive. But the automaker is in the middle of a massive restructuring. And the CEO is promising Ford will be profitable by next year.

In New York, I'm Alisa Roth for Marketplace.

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