Ford earnings and sales fall — but not as much as feared

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(CNN) — As with most automakers, Ford's earnings took a hit from the supply chain problems and computer chip shortage. But its third quarter results were much better than Wall Street expected. The company also raised its outlook for future earnings and restored its dividend.

The company posted adjusted earnings of $2 billion, down 22% from a year earlier and less than the adjusted earnings from Tesla, which despite its soaring stock value has only a fraction of the sales of any major automaker.

Ford's automotive revenue of $33.2 billion fell 4% from a year ago (although it was nearly triple that of Tesla). But both the revenue and earnings were much better than analysts surveyed by Refinitiv had expected. They had been forecasting Ford would earn less than $1 billion on automotive revenue of $32.5 billion.

The company said that while the availability of computer chips remains a challenge, the situation was "markedly improved" from the second quarter, propelling a 32% rise in Ford's shipments to dealers compared to the April through June period, and 33% gain in revenue on that basis.

Supply chain problems have hit the auto industry hard for months, limiting production by causing temporary plant closings. Overall, US car sales were down about 13% in the quarter, according to Cox Automotive.

Ford's results were similar to what was reported at rival General Motors earlier in the day — earnings and revenue fell from a year earlier but were better than forecast.

Ford raised its full-year operating earnings guidance to between $10.5 billion to $11.5 billion, up from the range of $9 billion to $10 billion it gave three months ago. And the company restored the dividend it suspended during the earliest days of the pandemic in March 2020 as it sought to preserve cash in the face of then plunging car sales.

Shares of Ford, which closed down 3% in regular trading Wednesday, jumped 4% in after-market trading on the report.

This story was first published on CNN.com, "Ford earnings and sales fall — but not as much as feared."