Ford Motor Company [NYSE: F] today reported third quarter net income of $888 million, or 53 cents per diluted share of common and Class B stock. A year ago, third quarter earnings from continuing operations were $959 million, or 78 cents per diluted share. The decrease in earnings of $71 million is more than explained by the impact of Firestone's ongoing tire recall. Without the Firestone tire recall, profits would have been a record in the third quarter.

"Getting our customers onto good tires has been, and continues to be, more important than short-term profits," said Jac Nasser, Ford Motor Company president and chief executive officer. "This was a difficult quarter for our customers, our employees, our dealers and our shareholders and we are committed to quickly completing the Firestone tire recall. However, we also believe that these solid results demonstrate the underlying strength of our products and the company's strong fundamentals and we continue to press forward with our objective to become the world's leading consumer company for automotive products and services."

AUTOMOTIVE OPERATIONS
Ford Motor Company's worldwide automotive earnings were $391 million in the third quarter of 2000. This compares with earnings of $535 million in the third quarter of 1999. Worldwide automotive revenues in the third quarter of 2000 were $33 billion, up $2 billion from a year ago. After-tax return on sales (ROS) was 1.2 percent in the third quarter, down 0.5 points from last year.

Worldwide vehicle sales were 1.7 million, up 3 percent compared with 1.6 million in 1999. Automotive cash was $18.6 billion at the end of the quarter, following completion of the $5.7 billion VEP. Third quarter automotive cash was $23.7 billion a year ago. Net cash was $6.6 billion, down from $11.3 billion a year ago.

North America: Automotive earnings were $769 million in the third quarter of 2000, down $98 million. Ford's ROS in North America was 3.3 percent, down 0.6 points from 1999.

Total Ford Motor Company retail sales in the United States during the third quarter were a record one million. U.S. factory unit sales were one million, up 5 percent from the same period a year ago. The sales pace was aided by the strong performance of the Ford Focus, F-Series and Explorer Sport Trac. In addition, several economic factors continued to support a healthy level of sales, including job and income growth and attractive vehicle pricing.

Other Automotive Operations: Third quarter results in Ford Motor Company's other automotive operations, including Europe, South America and Asia-Pacific, totaled a loss of $378 million, compared with a loss of $332 million a year ago.

FORD CREDIT
Ford Credit earned $386 million in the third quarter of this year, up $69 million, or 22 percent, from a year ago. Return on equity was 12.9 percent, up 1.5 percentage points from a year ago.

HERTZ
The Hertz Corporation [NYSE: HRZ] earned a record $143 million in the third quarter of 2000, compared with $139 million a year ago. Ford Motor Company's share of Hertz' third-quarter 2000 earnings was $116 million.

Ford Motor Company and Subsidiaries
HIGHLIGHTS
Third Quarter Nine Months
2000 1999 2000 1999
(unaudited) (unaudited)
Worldwide vehicle unit sales of
cars and trucks (in thousands)
- North America 1,104 1,050 3,724 3,507
- Outside North America 550 549 1,839 1,795
Total 1,654 1,599 5,563 5,302
Sales and revenues (in millions)
- Automotive $ 32,582 $ 30,645 $ 106,123 $ 97,788
- Financial Services 7,482 6,635 21,354 18,948
Total $ 40,064 $ 37,280 $ 127,477 $ 116,736
Net income (loss) (in millions)
- Automotive $ 391 $ 535 $ 2,995 $ 3,632
- Financial Services 497 424 1,338 1,159
Income from continuing
operations 888 959 4,333 4,791
- Discontinued operation (Visteon) - 155 309 640
- Loss on spin-off of Visteon - - (2,252) -
Total $ 888 $ 1,114 $ 2,390 $ 5,431
Capital expenditures (in millions)
- Automotive $ 1,932 $ 1,812 $ 4,884 $ 4,521
- Financial Services 102 150 565 435
Total $ 2,034 $ 1,962 $ 5,449 $ 4,956
Automotive capital expenditures as a
percentage of sales 5.9% 5.9% 4.6% 4.6%
Stockholders' equity at September 30
- Total (in millions) $ 18,273 $ 26,961 $ 18,273 $ 26,961
- Annualized after-tax return on average Common
and Class B stockholders'
equity 19.1% 16.9% 17.7% 28.2%
Automotive net cash at September 30
(in millions)
- Cash and marketable
securities $ 18,599 $ 23,721 $ 18,599 $ 23,721
- Debt 11,987 12,420 11,987 12,420
Automotive net cash $ 6,612 $ 11,301 $ 6,612 $ 11,301
After-tax return on sales
- North American Automotive 3.3% 3.9% 5.5% 5.5%
- Total Automotive 1.2% 1.7% 2.9% 3.7%
Shares of Common and Class B Stock
(in millions)
- Average number outstanding 1,649 1,209 1,354 1,210
- Number outstanding at
September 30 1,896 1,208 1,896 1,208
Common Stock price (per share)
(adjusted to reflect Visteon spin-off
and Value Enhancement Plan)
- High $26-5/8 $31 $30-1/8 $35-1/8
- Low 24-3/16 26-5/8 22-7/8 26-5/8
AMOUNTS PER SHARE OF COMMON AND
CLASS B STOCK AFTER PREFERRED
STOCK DIVIDENDS
Income assuming dilution
- Automotive $ 0.23 $ 0.44 $ 2.17 $ 2.94
- Financial Services 0.30 0.34 0.97 0.93
Subtotal 0.53 0.78 3.14 3.87
- Discontinued operation (Visteon) - 0.12 0.23 0.52
- Loss on spin-off of Visteon - - (1.64) -
Total $ 0.53 $ 0.90 $ 1.73 $ 4.39
Cash dividends $ 0.50 $ 0.46 $ 1.50 $ 1.38