Earnings News: Ford Motor Company (F), Southwest Airlines Co (LUV), 3M Co (MMM)

 @JessicaMentonj.menton@ibtimes.com on October 24 2013 11:02 AM

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) reported Thursday morning that its fiscal third-quarter net income fell to $1.27 billion, or 31 cents per share, as revenue rose 12 percent to $36 billion. Excluding one-time items, the company issued earnings of 45 cents per share, above Wall Street expectations for 38 cents. In addition, the automaker raised its guidance for 2013.

“Ford now expects total company pre-tax profit to be higher than 2012, improved from prior guidance of equal to or higher than 2012,” the No. 2 U.S. automaker said in its third-quarter earnings statement. “Ford also now expects Automotive operating margin to be higher than last year rather than about equal. Ford continues to expect Automotive operating-related cash flow to be substantially higher than 2012.”

On Thursday, Ford shares rose 2.11 percent to $17.89 in morning trading.

Also before the bell, 3M Co. (NYSE:MMM) issued fiscal third-quarter earnings of $1.78 per share on revenue of $7.92 billion, compared with earnings of $1.65 a share on revenue of $7.50 billion a year ago. Wall Street had expected the company to report earnings excluding items of $1.75 a share on $7.86 billion in revenue, according to analysts polled by Reuters.

“The 3M team delivered another strong performance in the third quarter,” said Inge G. Thulin, 3M’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “All business groups generated positive organic sales growth and operating margins above 20 percent. At the same time, we further strengthened the company through increased investments in innovation, commercialization and manufacturing. Finally, we returned $2 billion of cash to our shareholders during the quarter via dividends and gross share repurchases, or $4.8 billion through nine months of the year.”

The diversified technology company also updated its full-year outlook and anticipates 2013 earnings to be in the range of $6.65 to $6.75 per share, versus a previous expectation of $6.60 to $6.85 per share.

Shares of 3M Co. rose 0.36 percent to $123.64.

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) posted fiscal third-quarter earnings in-line with Wall Street forecasts, as the company reported net income of $259 million, or 37 cents per share, compared with $16 million, or 2 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Earnings excluding one-time items came in at 34 cents a share on revenue of $4.5 billion. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected earnings of 33 cents per share for the quarter.

“We are very pleased to report a record third quarter earnings performance,” said Gary C. Kelly, Southwest's chairman, president and CEO. “Our people delivered very strong year-over-year earnings growth as we continued to transform our company for the future. Our continued focus on strategic initiatives is paying off, and I am very proud of our outstanding employees for a very solid third-quarter financial performance.”

Shares of Southwest rose 1.83 percent to $16.71.

After the bell on Thursday, Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq: MSFT), Amazon.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), and Zynga Inc. (Nasdaq: ZNGA) are among notable companies reporting quarterly results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 43.22 points, or 0.28 percent, at 15,456.55. The S&P 500 was up 0.25 points, or 0.01 percent, at 1,746.85. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 7.64 points, or 0.20 percent, at 3,915.76.

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