Ford surprises with first quarter results

Analysts were expecting Ford (F) to report a $1.24 a share loss for the first quarter of 2009. Few guessed that it would come in at less than half that amount. In these disastrous days for the auto industry, reporting a loss of only $.60 a share, or $1.4 billion, seems like a victory worthy of a parade.

The news is positive especially in light of what's going on with the other (no longer so big) two American automakers. The smaller than expected loss means that Ford's war chest, now at $21.3 billion, can be expected to carry the company further through a long recession. Ford also reiterated that it does not intend to look to the federal government for a bridge loan.