Ford earned $1.4 billion in the first quarter -- a bit ahead of analyst expectations, but down from a year earlier. North American sales powered the profit, while Europe's crisis-wracked economy held every automaker back on the Continent.
Ford's dramatic turnaround has captured the attention of investors and car buyers alike. The only major American automaker to ride out the crisis without government assistance, Ford has returned to solid profitability with a slew of impressive new products. Investors take note.