01 Nov 2009

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$1 Billion: Ford Back on Its Feet With a Profit

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U.S. automaker ups production of Focus and Escape models in the third quarter.

Ford, the only Detroit automaker to dodge direct government aid and bankruptcy court, surprised investors with net income of nearly $1 billion in the third quarter and forecast a “solidly profitable” 2011.

The automaker said Monday earnings were fueled by U.S. market gains, cost cuts and the Cash for Clunkers program, which drew flocks of buyers to showrooms this summer. Ford’s s rose 58 cents, or 8.3 percent, to $7.58 in pre-market trading.

The latest results signal that Ford’s turnaround is on more solid ground. The company lost more than $14.6 billion last year and hasn’t posted a full-year profit since 2005. While it made a profit in the second quarter, that was mainly due to debt reductions that cut its interest payments.

Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford reported third-quarter net income of $997 million, or 29 cents per . Ford also forecast a “solidly profitable” 2011. Previously the automaker said it would be break-even or better.

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