Ford will be looking at a nearly one billion dollar profit before certain one-off charges are announced. So why do some think this is not a sign of recovery?

Ford is expected to announce a first quarter 2010 income of almost $1 billion, according to economic analysts surveyed by the Detroit Free Press.  The analysts excluded "special charges" from their estimate.

The automaker is expected to announce official results on Tuesday, including the charges.  Special charges can include a variety of typically one-off costs, including inventory write-offs of cars that will likely remain unsold, or general restructuring costs.

These special charges totalled $362 million, factoring greatly into the automaker's $1.4 billion first quarter 2009 loss.  Ford turned things around the rest of the year, ending 2009 with a $2.7 billion profit.

"We're expecting continued strong North American, European and South American performance," one Barclays Capital analyst told the newspaper.  "The real question is how strong?"

Assuming their Q1 2010 income is not wiped out by the charges, the profit will be seen by many as a huge triumph for Ford CEO Alan Mulally.  Mulally took over Ford in September 2006.  The company lost nearly $30 billion between 2006 and 2008.

"It's been tough to get a good picture of where they are really at," Fifth Third Asset Management analyst Mirko Mikelic told the paper.

"We'd like to see them report six to eight quarters of solid results."

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