It's been a great few months for Ford (NYSE: F) investors, who witnessed Ford's stock price rise as the market took notice of its value. After its run-up to near $16, things aren't looking to slow down on the sales front, with Ford reporting its company sales for May were up 14% vs. last year -- its best May since 2006.
With two months in the books for the second quarter, numbers are shaping up for a great story. I'll give you the breakdown for May sales regarding the most important models and an outlook for what we can expect going forward. Here's a hint: It's good stuff.
Trucks continue to surge
The best news that any Ford investor can hope for is strong sales from the F-Series, the most profitable model and segment in the U.S. market. Let's take a look at the sales per month, not cumulative, for the F-Series year to date.
That red line represents the 50,000 sales mark, which Ford considers a great month for the F-Series -- making the last few months phenomenal. As you can see, only the first month of the year failed to top that mark. Ford turned in a very solid first quarter and the second quarter sales for the F-Series are even stronger, giving investors reason for optimism. It's possible we could see margins in North America climb slightly higher than the 11% reported last quarter.
Over the last 12 months, the F-Series has averaged just more than an impressive 58,000 units sold per month, yet has only topped 60,000 twice. With a 30.6% sales increase for the F-Series year over year, May numbers blew past 60,000 and topped 70,000 for the first time since March 2007.
Selling 71,604 trucks is even more impressive when you consider that General Motors (NYSE: GM ) is about to release its highly anticipated 2014 redesigned Chevy Silverado. If you look at year-to-date numbers vs. last year, the F-Series is up a staggering 21.7%.
Ford expects strong demand to continue because of increased construction, a continuing energy boom, and aging trucks. With Ford's most important model locking in a fantastic month, here are some other important notables.
A handful of Ford's newest models are aimed at the surging "super segment," and those include the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, and Escape.
Ford's Fiesta is up 10.1% vs. last May, and its year-to-date sales are up 7.7% compared to last year. While the overall volume in the U.S. for May was only 6,693 vehicles, it has sold very well overseas and will be a large reason Ford succeeds in China and Europe.
The Focus sells well globally, and trailed only the Fusion in Ford's U.S. car sales. It posted a 9.8% increase vs. last year, coming in with 27,186 units sold for May. Its year-to-date sales remain fairly flat with just more than a 1% gain over last year. The Focus is still competing globally to be the No. 1 selling nameplate, and will continue to be an important vehicle for Ford's market share and sales volume.
The Fusion continues to sell well and the flashy ride only stays on dealer lots for 28 days -- a quick turnaround. What's even better is that its highest trim version, the Titanium, is only on lots for 19 days. Sales this May were up 10% compared to last year, and its year-to-date numbers were up 21.7%. Ford is bringing extra production online for the Fusion this fall, and expects that higher production will bring in higher sales results.
The Escape posted May sales at 29,123 units, which was a juicy 26.2% gain over last year and 29.7% increase in year-to-date comparisons. Both the Escape and Fusion have posted four straight months of record-breaking sales -- a trend that looks to continue.
Ford also announced that its third-quarter production in North America would be up 10% from last year, hinting that the company believes strong demand is here to stay this year. Ultimately, looking at these sales increases, we can expect a very strong second quarter when all is said and done. Ford is a valuable investment now and if it can minimize losses in Europe for the second quarter, it could blow analyst estimates away -- much to the delight of Ford's loyal investors.
If you're concerned that Ford's turnaround has run its course, relax -- there's good reason to think that the Blue Oval still has big growth opportunities ahead. We've outlined those opportunities in detail, in the Fool's premium Ford research service. If you're looking for some freshly updated guidance to Ford's prospects in coming years, you've come to the right place -- click here to get started now.