Shares in Ford Motor (F) hit prices not seen since the summer of 2004 Thursday, a day after the Dearborn, Mich., automaker reported solid sales for the month of October.
The stock rose as much as 4.3% to $15.83 a share in morning trading on Wall Street. By midday, shares had fallen back to around $15.64. Stocks overall were up in U.S. trading Thursday, driven higher by optimism about the plan by the Federal Reserve, released Wednesday, to pour $600 billion into the U.S. economy through the purchase of bonds.
On Wednesday, Ford reported sales of its cars and trucks rose 19% in October compared to a year ago, as consumers became a bit more upbeat about the economy. While most automakers reported higher sales, Ford outperformed its nearest rivals, General Motors and Toyota (TM), on a percentage basis. GM said its sales rose a modest 3.5%, while those at Toyota fell 4.4%.
Despite its lackluster sales report, Toyota shares were also higher Thursday, ending the Tokyo trading day 2.3% higher. In New York Stock Exchange trading, Toyota stock, traded through the use of American depository receipts, was about 2.5% higher at midday.
The rise in automaker stock prices also follows GM's announcement Wednesday that it's seeking to raise $13 billion in its initial public offering, scheduled for later this month. The IPO values the Detroit automaker at roughly $49 billion, assuming exercise of warrants, Reuters reported. That's on par with Ford's market capitalization of $49 billion.
For the year, Ford shares are up more than 57%. Under the leadership of Alan Mulally, the automaker has turned its money-losing business around and is on track to record its second consecutive year of profitability.
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