updated 9/17/2004 8:41:43 AM ET 2004-09-17T12:41:43

Ford Motor Co. raised its third-quarter and full-year earnings guidance for 2004 on Friday in part on the back of continued strong performance by its financial services business.

The announcement came on the same day it announced about 1,150 job cuts in England as part of an effort to streamline its Jaguar unit.

Ford raised its third-quarter earnings guidance by 10 cents per share to a range of 10 to 15 cents per share from continuing operations, excluding special items, compared with zero to 5 cents per share.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call forecast earnings of 10 cents per share for the quarter.

Ford said full-year earnings would be in the range of $1.90 to $2.00 per share, compared with previous guidance of $1.80 to $1.90 per share. Those estimates also are from continuing operations and excluded special items.

Wall Street analysts were expecting earnings of $1.99 per share.

Ford also announced it would exit Formula One racing. Cuts related to the decision were expected to result in a pre-tax charge of about $450 million, including about $375 million this year, the company said.

In England, Ford said it plans to halt operations at its Browns Lane Jaguar plant by the end of 2005, and consolidate operations of the luxury brand into its Castle Bromwich plant. The job cuts include those related to the consolidation of assembly operations. Ford also said it will reduce Jaguar's remaining production plan for 2004 by 15,000 units.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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