Ford Motor Company has reaffirmed its earnings guidance for the first quarter and full year 2005. It also reaffirmed its full-year operating-related cash flow guidance, which is $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion positive.

First quarter earnings guidance, announced in January, is expected to be in the range of 25 cents to 35 cents per share, excluding special items. For the full year, the company continues to expect earnings in the range of $1.75 to $1.95 per share, excluding special items.

Ford's announcement came hours after Detroit rival General Motors said it would now report a loss in the first quarter, down from at least break-even, and a reduction in full-year earnings per share - from $4-$5 to $1-$2 - due to difficulties in the US.

Tough conditions were acknowledged by Ford's chief finance officer Don Leclair.

"The market is not getting easier and we certainly face many challenges but we are maintaining our full-year earnings guidance, although we expect to be at the lower end of the range," he said.

Ford will announce first-quarter results and update the full-year outlook on April 20.

GM reduces earnings expectations