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Lackluster US, China sales drag on Ford Motor profit; shares drop

An assembly worker works on Ford Mustangs at the Ford Motor Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.
Rebecca Cook | Reuters

Ford Motor reported weaker-than-expected profit in the second quarter, and said its full-year earnings forecast was at risk with U.S. auto sales expected to fall in the second half, sending shares tumbling in premarket trading.

Auto sales in the United States and China were lower than anticipated in the quarter, and Ford reported its first quarterly loss in the Asia Pacific in three years.

The company reported quarterly net income of $1.97 billion, or $0.49 per diluted share, against $2.16 billion or $0.54 per share a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, it earned $0.52 per share, against analysts' expectations of $0.60 per share.

Ford shares shed 7 percent to $12.87 in premarket trading.

Second-quarter revenue was $39.5 billion, up 6 percent from a year earlier, beating analyst expectations of $36.3 billion.

Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks told reporters the U.S. economic recovery is "maturing," a factor poised to dent auto sales growth later this year. Ford derived 90 percent of its $2.99 billion pretax profit from North America in the quarter.

The company now expects the U.S. economy to grow 1.9 percent to 2.3 percent this year, lower than its previous expectation of 2.1 percent to 2.6 percent growth.

Looking further ahead, Shanks said 2017 will be even weaker for U.S. auto sales.

Shanks said the company was maintaining its forecast of equaling or improving on last year's pretax profit of $10.8 billion, though there were risks to reaching that performance, including a weaker North American market.