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CORPORATE EARNINGS

Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday it earned $1.2 billion, or 57 cents a share, in the April-June period versus a profit of $417 million, or 22 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding special items, Ford earned $1.3 billion, or 61 cents a share, which surpassed Wall Street's consensus estimate by 11 cents a share. Revenue rose to $42.8 billion from $40.6 billion a year ago. Automotive sales rose to $36.7 billion from $34.1 billion last year. Ford Motor Credit reported record net income of $897 million, up $496 million from a year ago, accounting for the bulk of Ford's profit. On a pretax basis, Ford's worldwide automotive sector lost $57 million in the quarter. In North America, the automotive pretax profit was $455 million excluding special items, up $10 million from a year ago.

Continental Airlines reported a $17 million second-quarter net loss -- 26 cents a share -- on Tuesday, citing the high price of jet fuel, low fares and the cost of retiring leased aircraft. Continental reported a net profit of $79 million, or $1.10 per share, in the same period a year ago. Operating profit totaled $2 million, or 3 cents per share. Revenue improved 13.4 per cent to $2.5 billion, compared with $2.2 billion in the same period in 2003.

Motorola Inc. posted a $203 million loss for the second quarter, citing heavy costs associated with the spin-off of its semiconductor business that more than offset a period of impressive sales. The net loss reported Tuesday amounted to 9 cents per share, compared with a profit of $119 million, or 5 cents per share, for the same period of 2003. Operating earnings were 21 cents a share Revenue was $8.7 billion, up 41 percent from $6.16 billion a year earlier.

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