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Ford surprises in 2Q with record North American profit

In this March 13, 2015 photo, workers inspect new 2015 aluminum-alloy body Ford F-150 trucks at the company's Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Mo. Ford reports quarterly financial results on Tuesday, July 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

DEARBORN, Michigan (AP) — Ford Motor Co.’s net income jumped 44 percent to $1.9 billion in the second quarter as global sales rose and the company was able to charge more for new trucks and SUVs with premium features.

The profit of 47 cents per share compared with a profit of 40 cents per share a year ago. That beat Wall Street’s expectations of a 37-cent profit for the April-June period, according to analysts polled by FactSet.

Ford’s global sales rose 2 percent during the quarter to nearly 1.7 million. Sales were up in North America and Europe but fell in South America, the Middle East and Asia.

Revenue fell slightly to $37.3 billion, hurt by the strong U.S. dollar. Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said revenue took a $2 billion hit from the dollar, which hurt profits in Europe, South America and elsewhere. That beat analysts’ expectations of $35.5 billion.

Ford says it still expects to achieve a pretax profit of $8.5 billion to $9.5 billion this year.

Ford earned a record quarterly profit of $2.6 billion in North America, where new, technology-rich versions of the Ford Explorer, Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX SUVs drew buyers even as smaller, less-profitable cars struggled. Shanks said the average sale price of F-Series trucks was up $3,600 in the quarter. New vehicles like the S-Max wagon in Europe and the Ka small car in South America also commanded higher prices.

The company expects strong North American results to continue as its new aluminum-sided F-150 pickup becomes more widely available in the second half of the year. The two plants that make the F-150 are now at full production, but inventories are still only half their normal level.

North American margins, which hit 11.1 percent in the second quarter, are expected to end the year in the upper end of the 8.5 percent to 9.5 percent range, Shanks said.

The company lost money in Europe, South America and the Middle East but earned a record profit of $192 million in Asia despite a sales slowdown in China.

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