Earnings: Ford Posts $1.2B Loss...More Earnings

Earnings: Ford | 3M | McDonald's | Wyeth

Ford Posts $1.2B Loss On Restructuring Costs

DEARBORN, Mich. - (AP) - Ford Motor Co. (F) said Friday it lost $1.2 billion in the first quarter as revenues fell and the company started a massive and costly North American restructuring effort.

The loss of 64 cents per share for the January-March period compares to a profit of $1.2 billion, or 60 cents per share, a year earlier. Sales fell 9 percent to $41.1 billion from $45.1 billion a year ago.

Ford said its results included a pretax charge of $1.7 billion, or 61 cents per share, for costs associated with its Way Forward restructuring plan, which calls for cutting up to 30,000 jobs and closing 14 facilities by 2012. The charge includes the costs of layoffs and buyouts and pay for hourly workers whose plants have been idled.

Excluding one-time special items such as restructuring charges, Ford said it earned $458 million, or 24 cents per share.

Ford's North American automotive unit, which has been struggling with declining sales and high fixed costs, reported a pretax loss of $2.9 billion, including one-time items. Ford said that was primarily due to lower sales, increased incentives, acceleration of charges related to plant closings and losses at former Visteon Corp. (VC) plants now under the control of a Ford-managed entity.

Worldwide, Ford's automotive operations lost $2.7 billion before taxes, compared with a profit of $473 million a year ago. That included $2.5 billion in one-time special items such as restructuring charges.

Ford's financial arm, Ford Motor Credit Co., earned $479 million for the quarter, down 33 percent from $710 million a year ago. The division said higher borrowing costs due to Ford's junk credit rating was partly to blame.

"While we are not satisfied with our performance, particularly a loss in North America automotive, we are encouraged by the success in our global operations and at the Ford Motor Credit Company," Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Ford said in a statement. "We have said we intend to restore automotive profitability in North America by no later than 2008 and we remain committed to deliver on our promise."

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3M Sees Increase In Profit, Boosts Outlook

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Diversified manufacturer 3M Co. (MMM) on Friday posted a 16.6 percent increase in quarterly profit and boosted its full-year forecast on strength in its industrial, safety, consumer and electronics-related units.

Net income in the first quarter rose to $899 million, or $1.17 a share, compared with $771 million, or 97 cents a share, in the year earlier quarter. Analysts were expecting, on average, $1.16 a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Sales rose 8.3 percent from last year to $5.6 billion, topping the $5.58 billion analysts had forecast.

3M, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, also raised its full-year financial forecast.

It now sees earnings in the range of $4.55 to $4.65 a share, up from its prior forecast of a range of $4.45 to $4.60. Both ranges include 16 cents in estimated stock options expensing.

The company expects local currency growth in its ongoing businesses to be in the range of 5.5 to 8 percent, up from its prior forecast of a range of 4 to 7 percent. It expects additional local-currency growth of about 1.5 percent from acquisitions.

Analysts were expecting 2006 earnings of $4.65 a share on sales of $22.68 billion.

Through Thursday, shares of 3M, best known for such consumer brands as Scotch tape and Post-It notes, were up 6.6 percent this year. The Standard & Poor's 500 index and the Dow Jones industrial average were up 5.1 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively, in the same period.

McDonald's Profit Rises, Though Earnings Down From A Year Ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp. (MCD), the world's largest restaurant company, Friday said quarterly net earnings fell from a year ago, when it recorded a large gain for the settlement of a tax audit.

Excluding one-time gains and charges, the hamburger chain's profit rose, helped by strong breakfast sales in the United States and improved performance in Europe.

Net income for the first quarter ended March 31 was $625.3 million, or 49 cents per share, compared with $727.9 million, or 56 cents per share, a year ago.

Last week, McDonald's said it expected to report earnings of about 49 cents a share for the period, in line with Wall Street analysts' average estimate.

McDonald's shares closed at $35.08 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock trades at about 14.5 times Wall Street analysts' average 2007 earnings estimate, below the average multiple of 18.5 for companies in the Dow Jones U.S. restaurants and bars index but above the average of 13.7 for stocks in the Dow Jones industrial average.

Wyeth Profit Up

MADISON, N.J. - AP - The drugmaker Wyeth (WYE) said Friday that its first-quarter profit rose 4 percent, driven by sales of the antidepressant Effexor and heartburn medication Protonix.

Net income grew to $1.12 billion, or 82 cents per share, for the three months ended March 31 from $1.08 billion, or 80 cents per share, a year ago. Results for the latest quarter included a charge of 2 cents per share for reorganization costs.

Revenue rose 6 percent to $4.84 billion from $4.58 billion last year as sales of Effexor grew by 9 percent to $945 million and sales of Protonix increased 18 percent to $482 million.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial estimate earnings per share of 73 cents on revenue of $4.88 billion.

Its shares rose 65 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $47.42 in premarket trading.

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