FILE PHOTO: The logo of Ford is seen during the 87th International Motor Show at Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo By Nick Carey | DETROIT
DETROIT Ford Motor Co on Thursday reported a lower quarterly net profit that beat analyst expectations, and reiterated its pretax profit forecast for 2017.
The No. 2 U.S. automaker's profit fell in the quarter amid higher costs and investments, and a slight decline in vehicle sales. The company had warned investors in late March that higher expenditure and lower sales volumes would have an impact on its quarterly earnings.
Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks told reporters at the company's headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, that Ford's higher costs for 2017 were incurred largely in the first quarter and results for the rest of the year would be "about flat to a little bit better."
Ford said it still expects to post a full-year 2017 pretax profit of around $9 billion, down from a record of $10.4 billion in 2016.
The U.S. auto industry has enjoyed year-on-year increases in sales since the end of the Great Recession and hit 17.55 million units in 2016. Wall Street analysts and investors are expecting a slight decline in sales this year.
Ford reported a first-quarter net profit of $1.6 billion, or 40 cents a share, down 36 percent from $2.5 billion, or 61 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts had, on average, expected earnings per share for the quarter of 35 cents.
Automotive revenue for the quarter rose to $36.5 billion from $35.3 billion a year earlier. Analysts had expected automotive revenue of $34.7 billion.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)