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Ford earnings sink on weak China and overseas sales

The company confirmed its full-year profit target of US$1.30 to US$1.50 per share, but backed away from its operating margin target of 8% by 2020.

Ford Motor’s third quarter net income dived 37% to US$991 million compared to a year ago, due to weak sales in China and Europe.

The company confirmed its full-year profit target of US$1.30 to US$1.50 per share, but backed away from its operating margin target of 8% by 2020.

Earnings per share for the third quarter were adjusted to 29 US cents, slightly higher than analysts’ forecast of 28 US cents.

Ford saw stellar results in North America, helped by sales of trucks and sport-utility vehicles. But the firm bled a US$378 million loss in China for the third quarter, compared to a US$102 million profit from a year ago.

Overall, revenue was up by around 3%, to US$37.6 billion.

Ford’s chief financial officer Bob Shanks said the tariff-related costs and an unexpected erosion of results in Europe and China had made the company back away from its 2020 margin report. The firm will continue to work on the goal, Mr Shank added, but did not set a new timeline target.

Sales in China are likely to slow down even more in the next few months and for 2019, Mr Shanks said. He noted that the company is prepared for lower demand from the region and has been trimming vehicle production.

Meanwhile, the business’s Europe segment saw losses accelerate to US$245 million from a decline of US$53 million a year ago, due to weaker results in Russia and Turkey and higher forex fees.

Ford’s shares rose as much as 7% in after-hours trading above the closing price of US$8.18 on Wednesday.

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The company confirmed its full-year profit target of US$1.30 to US$1.50 per share, but backed away from its operating margin target of 8% by 2020.

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