Ford shares rose after it reported better-than-expected quarterly profits on higher US sales of pickups and other large vehicles

Ford reported a big jump in third-quarter profits Wednesday, pointing to strong sales in North America where large vehicles commanded generous prices amid tight inventories.

Shares of the automaker jumped in after-hours trading following report that profits surged to $2.4 billion, more than five times the earnings in the year-ago period.

Revenues rose one percent to $37.5 billion.

Ford scored higher US sales in the quarter for its popular F-Series pickup truck and the smaller pickup model the Ranger, as well as for the revamped Explorer sport-utility vehicle.

Stronger-than-expected vehicle demand and good pricing, with inventories limited following coronavirus shutdowns that pinched production help boost results, the company said.

Pre-tax margins for North America were by far Ford's strongest globally at 12.5 percent, an improvement over the year-ago period.

Newly-installed Chief Executive Jim Farley, who took the top job on October 1, said the company was on a good track after a difficult run that included manufacturing stumbles and questions over strategy.

"We haven't suddenly fixed the issues in our automotive business, but we have a clear turnaround plan to get that done," he said.

Ford shares rose 2.8 percent to $7.70 in after-hours trading.