Ford posts earnings of 47 cents a share vs 37 cents expected

Ford posts earnings beat, cuts China forecast

Ford Motor delivered quarterly earnings that topped analysts' expectations on Tuesday, based on the continued strength of North American sales, led by its popular F-150 pickup truck.

The second largest U.S. automaker posted second-quarter earnings of 47 cents per share, up from 40 cents a share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue rose to $37.3 billion from $35.37 billion a year ago.

Wall Street had expected the company to deliver quarterly earnings per share of 37 cents on $35.34 billion in revenue, according to consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters.

Shares of Ford moved higher in premarket trading following the announcement. (Get the latest quote here.)

Operating profit totaled nearly $2.6 billion in North America, a company record for any quarter, and was linked to better pricing on new product launches, said Bob Shanks, Ford's chief financial officer.

Ford maintained its full-year 2015 forecast of an operating profit of between $8.5 billion and $9.5 billion.

Ford also maintained a forecast of North American profit margin between 8.5 percent and 9.5 percent. Shanks said he now expects the margin to end the year at the high end of that range.

Operating profit in Asia Pacific rose 21 percent to $192 million despite a dip in industry sales in China, the world's biggest auto market.

"As this has been happening, we have been adjusting our production all along" due to the lower demand, said Shanks.

Ford lowered its 2015 forecast for industry sales in China to 23 million to 24 million vehicles, from 24.5 million to 26.5 million at the start of the year. Sales in China in 2014 were about 24 million.

Shanks said Ford sees China sales of 30 million by the end of the decade.

Shanks said the company also achieved stronger pricing in North America because of the rollout of new versions of several models, including the F-150 truck and the Edge and Explorer SUVs.

Ford's U.S. June auto sales came in higher than some had expected when they were released earlier this month, but the company's sales in China, the world's largest auto market, were flat through the first half of the year.

Ford announced a new car-sharing program last week aimed at exposing potential customers to Ford vehicles. The program allows 26,000 Ford Motor Credit customers to rent out their car, SUV or truck and is planned to include six U.S. cities and London.

Ford recalled more than 400,000 vehicles in North America at the beginning of July for a defect that lead to engines staying on even after the ignition key was turned to the "off" position.

Reuters contributed to this report.