Ford Q1 Results! SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) -- Ford Motor stock jumped almost 10 percent on Wednesday after stunning Wall Street with first-quarter earnings that doubled last year's profits and a higher financial outlook. Rebounding auto results and another strong performance from its finance unit bolstered the bottom line for the automaker. It was one of the strongest quarters since Bill Ford Jr. took over as Chairman and CEO in late 2001. And the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker raised its financial expectations for the year. "This is the best quarter we have achieved since we began our back-to- basics efforts more than two years ago, and it clearly demonstrates our plan is working and building momentum," he said in a statement. Shares of Ford Motor (F: news, chart, profile) rose $1.35 to $14.91 with heavier-than-usual volume of almost 34 million shares as the third-most active stock on the NYSE. First-quarter net earnings totaled $1.95 billion, or 94 cents a share, up from $896 million, or 45 cents. Excluding special items, Ford earned $1.98 billion, or 96 cents a share. Revenue came to $44.7 billion, up from $40.8 billion. Analysts expected a per-share profit of 44 cents, according to Thomson First Call. "The magnitude of the earnings surprise is breathtaking," wrote Deutsche Bank auto analyst Rod Lache in a morning research note. In the preceding quarter, Ford lost money as it took big one-time charges tied to Visteon. See full story. Worldwide auto operations earned $1.81 billion, up more than $1 billion from last year. Sales increased 13 percent, or $4.6 billion, to $38.8 billion. Worldwide unit sales in the quarter totaled 1.79 million units, up from 1.70 million a year ago. In North America, profit at the auto operations totaled $1.96 billion, also an improvement of more than $1 billion. "Cost reductions and higher net price drove big North American year-over-year gain, far ahead of expectations," wrote Prudential Equity Group analyst Michael Bruynesteyn. The European luxury brands in the Premier Auto Group brought in a profit of $20 million with sales of $6.8 billion, a 26 percent increase. Ford Credit earned $688 million, up $246 million from last year as used vehicle values strengthened and low interest rates spur more financing. Looking to the second quarter, Ford expects to earn 30 cents to 35 cents a share. And for 2004, the per-share profit range is now $1.50 to $1.60 a share, a 30-cent increase in the expected range of earnings. The full-year forecast excludes 7 cents a share in one-time items. Both Bruynesteyn and Lache wrote that they wondered if investors will now think that Ford is still playing down its profit outlook. On Tuesday, General Motors (GM: news, chart, profile) also reported stronger financial results than Wall Street had expected. Shares rallied accordingly, sending the Dow component sharply higher. See full story.