On a per-share basis, Ford said it earned 43 cents a share, outstripping analyst estimates of 37 cents a share, as compiled by Zacks.com. Excluding special items, Ford said it earned a pretax operating profit of $2.1 billion, or 48 cents a share, an improvement of $1.1 billion from a year ago. The company has posted pretax operating profits for five consecutive quarters, it said.
Revenue for the quarter was $29 billion, a decline of $1.3 billion from the same period a year ago, Ford said. Excluding 2009 revenue from its sold-off Volvo unit, Ford's revenue in the third quarter was up $1.7 billion compared with the same period a year ago.
Ford said it is on track to gain full-year market share in the U.S. for the second consecutive year, marking the first time since 1993 that Ford has achieved back-to-back annual increases.
The Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker also said it reduced its indebtedness during the quarter, including paying down its revolving credit line by $2 billion and prepaying the $3.6 billion of debt to the VEBA retiree health care trust.
The company said it finished the quarter with $23.8 billion in cash, an increase of $1.9 billion since the second quarter. Including its available credit lines, Ford said, its total liquidity was $29.4 billion at the end of September.
On Monday, Ford said it would create as many as 1,200 engineering and manufacturing jobs by spending $850 million to upgrade at least four Michigan plants through 2013.