THE NEWS: Ford Motor Co. posted a $1.7 billion third-quarter profit, up 68 percent over the same quarter last year and its best third quarter in at least 20 years.
THE REASON: Ford has cut costs by closing factories and designing new models to be sold in all global markets. Plus, its cars and trucks are selling better at higher prices. The amount customers pay for Fords is up 10 percent in the past five years.
WHAT'S NEXT: Ford also announced that it repaid $2 billion in debt last quarter and expects to pay $3.6 billion more that it owes for retiree health care. The company also announced an offer to covert $3.5 billion in notes to common stock and said it expects to end the year with as much cash as debt, a year earlier than forecast.