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Ford Profit Misses Estimates as Taxes Delay Payoff From F-150

Ford Motor Co. posted third-quarter profits that fell short of analysts’ estimates as higher taxes reduced the payoff from its aluminum-bodied F-Series pickups.

Earnings excluding some items were 45 cents a share, the company reported in a statement Tuesday. The average of 18 estimates compiled by Bloomberg was 47 cents. Net income more than doubled to $1.9 billion from $835 million a year earlier when Ford was changing over to the new F-150 pickup.

After pleading for patience while Ford’s profits sagged last year, Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields is starting to pay off on his promise to boost pretax earnings by as much as 51 percent this year. The F-Series had its best third quarter in nine years, with an 8 percent increase to U.S. sales of 207,271. The trucks, which are the top-selling vehicle line in America, account for 90 percent of Ford’s global automotive profit, according to Morgan Stanley.

“I have very high expectations for Ford for the second half of 2015,” said David Whiston, an analyst at Morningstar Inc. in Chicago, who rates Ford shares the equivalent of a buy. “This is the first test to see if they can deliver on what they promised.”

The company maintained its full-year forecast for pretax profits of as much as $9.5 billion and said North American profit margin for the year would be on the high end of its projected 8.5 percent to 9.5 percent range. In the third quarter, it was 11.3 percent, Ford said.

F-Series inventory finally approached normal at the...


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