Ford posts another quarterly profit as sales climb

DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford Motor Co. posted a strong second-quarter profit Friday but trimmed its U.S. sales forecast and predicted weaker results in the second half as the economy slowly recovers.

The automaker surprised Wall Street, making $2.6 billion in the quarter as it continued to grab sales from rivals. Ford’s U.S. sales rose 28 percent in the first six months of this year. That’s almost double the pace of industrywide sales.

It was Ford’s fifth straight quarterly profit, and the No. 2 U.S. automaker predicted a strong 2010 and even better 2011. But it said it will make less money in the second half of this year because of seasonal plant shutdowns, costs for new product launches and rising prices for raw materials like aluminum.

The automaker said U.S. sales, which hit a 30-year low in 2009, remain weak, with many shoppers not yet confident enough about the economy to buy new cars. Ford cut its forecast for total U.S. auto sales to a range of 11.5 million to 12 million. The company had predicted sales of 11.5 million to 12.5 million cars and trucks. Ford held its third-quarter production forecast steady at 1.27 million cars and trucks worldwide.

Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally said the company is making money in the challenging environment because of strong new products and a leaner, global structure in which more vehicles around the world share parts.

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE HERE: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2010/07/23/general-specialized-consumer-services-us-earns-ford_7792381.html?boxes=marketschannelwires

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