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UPDATE 1-Ford swings to surprise second-qtr profit

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DETROIT, July 26 (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co F.N on Thursday swung to a surprise second-quarter profit after seven quarters of losses on cost-cutting and a turnaround in its core automotive operations, pushing shares higher.

Ford, which is in the midst of a restructuring plan that includes closing 16 plants and cutting up to 45,000 jobs, posted a net profit of $750 million, or 31 cents per share, compared with a loss of $317 million, or 17 cents, a year earlier.

Ford’s profit from continuing operations, excluding one-time items, was 13 cents per share. That blew past the average Wall Street forecast of a loss of 37 cents per share as tracked by Reuters Estimates.

Although the automaker has seen some recent sales success for its new crossover models like the Ford Edge and won quality accolades during the quarter, Wall Street analysts had not expected the automaker to report a quarterly profit.

Ford share rose to $8.20 in pre-market trading from a Wednesday close of $7.97 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford said second-quarter revenue rose to $44.2 billion from $41.9 billion a year earlier.

Ford’s core automotive operations swung to a profit of $378 million before taxes and excluding special charges, while its finance arm contributed a net profit of $62 million. In North America, Ford’s loss narrowed to $279 million during the quarter before taxes and excluding special items.

Ford said it was currently exploring in “greater detail” the sale of its Jaguar and Land Rover luxury units.

The No. 2 U.S. automaker also said it was conducting a strategic review of its Swedish luxury nameplate Volvo that is expected to conclude by the end of the year.

In an update on its turnaround, Ford also said it was on track to have a lower cash outflow due to its restructuring than the $17 billion it had previously forecast between 2007 and 2009.

Ford’s U.S. sales in the second quarter fell 9 percent as the automaker moved away from low-margin sales to car rental operators.

The company said it remained on track to be consistently profitable in its auto operation by 2009.

((Reporting by Poornima Gupta; editing by Mark Porter; Reuters Messaging:; email:; tel:313-967-1901)) Keywords: FORD RESULTS Keywords: FORD RESULTS

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