Record car and truck sales in the third quarter this year gave Ford Motor Co. record profits of $266.5 million, the company said yesterday.
Ford's earnings, added to the profits announced earlier this week by General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Corp., amounted to a healthy $702.2 million profit for the Big Three auto companies for the July-September period.
American Motors Corp. is expected to announce its quarterly financial figures later this month.
Ford's earnings for the third quarter amounted to $2.25 a share compared with $42 million (36 cents a share) last year. Ford's results last year were hurt by a nationwide United Auto Workers union strike. The results have been adjusted to reflect a five-for-four stock split that became effective in May of this year.
The strke, which closed all Ford U.S. assembly plants from Sept. 15 through Oct. 12 last year, slashed 1976 production by 438,000 vehicle - 186,000 of them in the third quarter.
Ford chairman Henry Ford II said the firm's healthy profits this year "primarily reflected increased factory unit sales volume."
Total worldwide sales for the quarter were a record $3.8 billion based on the sale of a record 1.47 million units.
Ford's profits for the first nine months of 1977 stand at $1.279 billion ($10.84) compared with $812.5 million ($6.91).
Texaco, Inc. reported a 15.6 per cent gain in profits for the third quarter on a 6.6 per cent rise in revenues. Most large U.S. oil producers have posted smaller gains or even lower profits.
Earnings totalled $247.9 million (91 cents a share), up from $214.3 million (78 cents) in the year-ago period. Revenues were $7.07 billion, up from $6.63 billion.
Nine-month profits rose nearly 14 per cent to $728.4 million ($2.68) from $639.2 million ($2.35). Revenues were up $8.3 per cent to $21.24 billion from $19.6 billion.
Chairman Maurice Granville said the contributions to profits from U.S. operations fell 6.1 per cent in the first nine months while the contribution of overseas operations rose 48.6 per cent.
He attributed the lower U.S. protion to a fall in gross liquids production, more costly imported oil and higher operating costs. Higher prices were the main reason that the overseas contribution increased, he said.
Lockheed Corp. reported sharply higher earnings in the third quarter, but said this did not reflect a trend for the future.
Lockheed's profits for the quarter were $20.4 million ($1.34 a share), up 124 per cent from the year-ago period's $2.1 million (75 cents). Revenues rose 11 per cent to $812 million from $729 million.
Nine-month profits totalled $43 million ($322), up 37 per cent from the 1976 nine month's $31.3 million ($2.61).
The aerospace giant said next year's earnings would reflect declining production of C-130 planes and cessation of the S-3A Viking antisubmarine aircraft production program.
It said this year's higher earnings primarily were due to increased sales and profits from the C-130 program and the Trident fleet ballistic missile project. It also cited higher interest income, a lower tax rate and a gain from the retirement of $6.1 million of debentures.
These factors were offset partially by higher losses from its L-1011 TriStar wide bodied jet, Lockheed said. TriStar losses rose to $36 million from $28.1 million a year ago.
McDonnell Douglas Corp. reported increased earnings for the third quarter and first nine months of the year. But although sales grew during the quarter, they fell from the level of the first nine months of 1976 because the number of deliveries of commercial aircraft decreased.
An improved product mix and lower interest expenses were factors in the higher earnings, although they were offset partly by a high effective tax rate caused by lower tax credits.