Truck sales drive record results at Ford; shares surge – CNBC

Net income more than doubled at Ford Motor, which also reported its highest-ever quarterly operating margins on Thursday, thanks to robust pricing of its F-150 pickup trucks in North America and improved profit in Europe.

Ford’s net income of $2.45 billion, or 61 cents per diluted share, in the first quarter through March 31, was up 113 percent from $1.3 billion, or 29 cents per diluted share, a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, Ford’s earnings per share of 68 cents easily beat Wall Street expectations of 48 cents a share.

Ford CEO Mark Fields said the company would continue to deliver great results, noting that Ford reaffirmed guidance that puts the automaker on track to perform as well as, or better than, it did last year.

“Hopefully, at some point, the market will recognize us for that, but we’re going to keep focusing on the fundamentals of the business,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Demand for SUVs and trucks offset lower sales in South America. U.S. sales of the Ford Explorer SUV rose 39 percent in the first quarter.

Ford is seeing a shift to SUVs not only in the United States, but around the world, according to Fields. He said Ford is well-positioned to take advantage of the trend.

He noted, however, that Ford would invest $4.5 billion in electrified vehicles over the next four years with the goal of electrifying 40 percent of its autos by the end of the decade.

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