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Ford first quarter profit rises 15 percent to $1.6B

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DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- Ford says net income rose 15 percent in the first quarter to $1.6 billion as record North American profits overcame weakness in Europe and South America.

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Ford beat Wall Street's forecast with earnings of 40 cents per share, up from 35 cents in the first quarter of 2012. Analysts polled by FactSet had forecast earnings of 37 cents per share.

Without one-time charges, including restructuring costs in Europe, Ford would have earned 41 cents.

Revenue rose 10 percent to $35.8 billion, beating Wall Street's forecast of $33.5 billion.

Ford Motor Co. earned $2.4 billion in North America, where sales of its F-Series trucks and Fusion sedan and Escape SUV have been strong. That offset a $462 million loss in Europe, where Ford's sales fell 20 percent during the quarter.

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