DETROIT (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co on Thursday posted a better-than-expected first quarter largely due to strong pickup truck sales in its core U.S. market and said it was more confident in its forecast 2019 would bring better results than last year.

FILE PHOTO: The Ford logo is seen at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., January 15, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The first-quarter results sent Ford’s shares up as much as 8 percent in after-market trading.

Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks told reporters at company headquarters in suburban Detroit that Ford has more confidence its 2019 results will be better than last year’s, but said it is in a “volatile environment with very strong competition.”

Shanks added the first quarter would likely