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Ford honks horn with $1.63B profit

Ford's third-quarter profit eased 1 per cent to $1.63 billion as European losses swamped record North American profits.

Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday its per-share net income was 41 cents, unchanged from the July-September period a year earlier. Before special items, it earned 40 cents, beating Wall Street's forecast of 30 cents, according to analysts polled by FactSet.

Ford's revenue fell 3 per cent to $32.1 billion as vehicle sales dropped in Europe and South America. The company exceeded Wall Street's revenue forecast of $31.5 billion largely because of North America, where revenue jumped 8 per cent to $19.5 billion thanks to higher pricing and strong sales of higher-margin trucks and SUVs.

Dearborn-based Ford earned a record $2.3 billion in North America. Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks noted that this was the third quarter in a row that the company has made more than $2 billion in the region and reported an operating margin of 10 per cent or more. Ford's North American operating margin was 12 per cent in the third quarter, up from 8.6 per cent a year earlier.

"To me the story isn't just the results but the consistency of the results," he said.

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