(F) Ford Motor to Sell 2.2 Million Cars in 2012

Ford Motor Co. (F) anticipates nearly a 7% rise in its main brand sales to 2.20 million units this year from 2.06 million units in 2011. The company expects to achieve the sales growth with the help of its popular Ford Focus compact car sales.

Till September this year, the automaker sold 737,856 Ford Focus cars. Meanwhile, its other popular models, Ford Fiesta sedan and hatchback and F-series trucks, had sales of 560,061 units and 576,339 units, respectively, during the same period.

Last month, Ford’s sales grew 6.5% to 177,673 vehicles, driven by impressive sales growth of Ford Focus (56%) and pickup truck F-Series (18%). Most notably, the company’s small car sales shot up 76% from November last year. Due to the encouraging sales reports during the year, the company is looking forward to boost its production in 2013.

During the month, industry sales grew 15% to 1.14 million vehicles or 15.5 million on a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) basis in the month, driven by pent-up demand generated from Hurricane Sandy as well as from the aging vehicles, and improving macroeconomic conditions. It was the five-year high sales recorded by the industry since 2007.

Despite posting a meager 3% growth in sales to 186,505 vehicles, Ford’s cross town rival General Motors Company (GM) saw its best November since 2007. Thanks to the double-digit growth in sales for its Buick and Cadillac brands.

Ford, a Zacks #2 Rank (Buy) stock, posted a 17.6% rise in earnings per share to 40 cents in the third quarter of the year from 34 cents a year ago, driven by impressive results in its North American operation and, to some extent, its Asian operation. With this, the company has also beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 10 cents per share. Total profit rose 15.6% to $1.6 billion from $1.4 billion a year ago.

However, total revenue in the quarter slid 3.0% to $32.1 billion due to lower revenues in South America, Europe and Financial Services operations that offset the marginal improvement in revenues in North America and Asia. However, revenues were higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $31.0 billion for the quarter.

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