By Ben Klayman and Paul Lienert
DETROIT (Reuters) -Ford Motor Co posted stronger-than-expected quarterly results on Wednesday and maintained its profit forecast for the year, citing strong vehicle pricing that partly offset higher costs and inflation.
Chief Financial Officer John Lawler called the performance “mixed,” saying chip constraints hit the company hard, especially on its large and most profitable vehicles – the F-Series pickup and Expedition and Navigator SUVs.
“The capability of this business is much stronger than what we were able to provide in the quarter and that was due to the constraints,” Lawler said during a media briefing.
“Demand for our products exceeded our ability to produce them,” Lawler said, noting that higher prices had mostly offset inflationary pressures during the quarter.
Ford shares were up 2.9% in after-hours trading.
Ford’s wholesale deliveries in the quarter dropped 9% from a year earlier, to around 970,000.
“We know that as we move through the year, we could see additional inflation, we could see costs increase on commodities, so I wouldn’t rule out that we would take additional pricing” increases, Lawler said.
Ford posted operating earnings of $2.3 billion in the first quarter, above expectations. A markdown in the value of its stake in electric vehicle maker Rivian resulted in a net loss of $3.1 billion.
The automaker’s first-quarter operating profit of 38 cents a share beat analysts‘ estimates by a penny. Revenue of $34.5 billion also topped estimates of $31.1 billion.
Ford said it still expects $11.5 billion to $12.5 billion in operating earnings for the full year, despite the war in Ukraine, supply-chain disruptions, inflation and rising U.S. interest rates which have hit the industry.
The company also said it expects improved availability of semiconductors in the second half of the year and wholesale volume growth of 10% to 15%.
(Reporting by Paul Lienert and Ben Klayman in DetroitEditing by Chris Reese and Matthew Lewis)