Ford again made more money as a bank than as a car maker in the third quarter.

According to Reuters, the Blue Oval on Tuesday reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit as strength in its finance arm once again offset losses in its automotive business.

Ford said third-quarter net income was $US266 million, or 15 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $25 million, or 1 cent a share.

Excluding $64 million in charges, mainly for restructuring its Jaguar division, Ford said it earned 28 cents a share, according to the report.

Wall Street analysts on average were expecting profit of 14 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

The automaker raised its 2004 earnings outlook for the fifth time this year, to $2 to $2.05 per share from a previous range of $1.90 to $2, the report said.

The quarterly and annual estimates reportedly exclude the costs of the Jaguar restructuring actions and other special items. Last month, Ford said it was ending car production at a Jaguar plant in Britain and slashed 1,150 jobs, or 15% of the money-losing division's work force, Reuters added.