Ford Motor posts earnings of 23 cents a share vs. 26 cents expected

Ford Motor delivered quarterly earnings and revenue that fell short of analysts' expectations on Tuesday, as it sold fewer vehicles in North America due to the rollout of the F-150 pickup truck and continued to lose money in South America and Europe.

Shares of the No. 2 automaker moved lower in premarket trading following the announcement. (Get the latest quote here.)

The No. 2 U.S. automaker maintained its full-year forecast of pre-tax profit of between $8.5 billion and $9.5 billion.

The company raised its forecast for North American operating margin to 8.5 percent to 9.5 percent from 8 percent to 9 percent, but highlighted worsening business conditions in South America.

"The external environment in South America has deteriorated compared to where we were just a few months ago," Ford Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said to reporters.

The nation's second-largest automaker posted first-quarter earnings of 23 cents per share, down from 25 cents a share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue fell to $31.8 billion from $33.9 billion a year ago.

Wall Street had expected the company to deliver quarterly earnings per share of 26 cents on $33.9 billion in revenue, according to consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters.

Ford said that two cents of the three-cent profit shortfall was because the tax rate was higher than analysts had expected.

Shanks said that the company's 6.7-percent operating profit margin in North America would have been over 10 percent if two highly profitable models now being relaunched with new designs, the F-150 and Edge, had matched year-ago sales levels. That also would have increased Ford's North American profit more than $1 billion from its reported $1.34 billion operating profit, he said.

Last week, Ford announced that it would lay off about 700 workers from one of its Detroit production plants. The Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan makes compact and compact hybrid cars and will be cutting an entire shift. The company said the move is in response to lower demand for hybrid cars among lower gasoline prices.

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Shares of Ford have risen less than 1 percent over the past 12 months.

Last week, rival General Motors delivered earnings and revenue that fell short of analysts' expectations, as weakness in South America and Russia hurt demand.

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—CNBC's Terri Cullen and Reuters contributed to this report.