Ford Motor's third-quarter earnings dropped 34 percent but beat Wall Street expectations on a strong showing in North America even as revenue fell due to the cost of introducing a new pickup truck.
Ford's launch of its new aluminum-bodied F-150 is "on track," the automaker said on Friday. A 3 percent drop in third-quarter revenue to $34.9 billion is largely linked to the shutdown of the F-150 plant in Dearborn, Michigan.
The automaker reported earnings of 24 cents per share, excluding one-tome items, which beat expectations of 19 cents from analysts polled by Reuters.
"We continued to introduce an unprecedented number of new vehicles and invest heavily in the new products," CEO Mark Fields told analysts this week, according to The Detroit Free Press.
Ford's third-quarter profit margin of 7.1 percent in North America lagged the 9.5 percent that rival General Motors Co reported earlier this week. Ford's margin would have been 10.2 percent when excluding recall costs, according to Reuters.
Last month, Ford warned that its pretax profit in 2014 would be $6 billion, down from a forecast of $7 billion to $8 billion, and that recall costs in North America would be around $1 billion.
Approximately $630 million of the recall costs came in the third quarter, cutting the company's operating margin in North America, said Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks, according to Reuters.
Shanks added that the profit margin excluding recall costs of 10.2 percent was lower than the 10.9 percent recorded in 2013 due to F-150 costs.
Ford's profit of $835 million was down 34 percent from $1.27 billion a year earlier.
The company continued to lose money in places like South America and Europe, while remaining profitable in Asia and North America.
Ford's loss in Europe broadened to $439 million from $182 million a year ago, mainly due to weakness in Russia. The company reached 4.7 percent market share in China, its highest yet, according to Reuters.