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Investor Patience Will Be Rewarded: Ford CEO

Ford MotorCEO Alan Mulally wants the investment community to know its patience with the automaker will be rewarded down the road.

"We continue to invest in this business and profitably grow it, and over time I’m absolutely confident shareholders will be rewarded for a profitably growing company," Mulally said.

Ford posted first-quarter earnings, excluding items, of 39 cents a share that beat Wall Street expectations of 35 cents, but were still below last year's 47 cents a share profit because of continued weakness in Europe.

Europe, where Ford logged a $149 million loss, is around the 14 million range for auto sales, the lowest it's been in 17 years, he said.

While Mulally is confident the European governments are working to stabilize their economies and get them growing again, Ford will be "continuing to restructure ourselves and operate profitably, no matter what," Mulally said.

Not so the U.S., where Ford earned $2.1 billion, its best quarter in years. Ford expects to be put on second and third shifts to match increasing demand for its vehicles by the end of the year, Mulally said.

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