What's Been Driving Ford's Recent Run?

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Andrew: Hey Fools, Andrew Tonner here. I'm joined today by Industrials Analyst for Fool.com, Brendan Byrnes.

Brendan, let's take a look at Ford. It's had a pretty nice run-up, especially going into the end of 2013. What was your take on their year, overall?

Brendan: Looking back at the year, actually, Ford doing pretty well at the beginning of 2012 and then just absolutely cratered going into the summer, falling below $9 a share by the end of July, so it actually ended 2012 up about 50% from its lows in July; definitely good news there, and up about 30% in its past three months alone.

What's the reason for that? A lot of it had to do with Al Mulally coming out and announcing that he was going to stay on at Ford at least through 2014, so certainly investors, good news there. It surprised a lot of people, myself included. I thought Al Mulally would probably step down sometime next year, so that's good news for me.

I think Al Mulally is a visionary. He really kept this company out of bankruptcy when he came in in 2006, and borrowed that $23 billion, and shifted the focus to being profitable with every vehicle, and not just the big SUVs and trucks, where they got most of their profits before.

That's definitely good news. Also, strong auto sales numbers toward the end of the year, not just for Ford -- also Honda, Toyota, GM closing out the year very strong -- 14.5 light vehicles sold overall in 2012. That beat most people's expectations. I think another million tack on, on top of that in 2013, going forward.

Overall, is Ford still a buy? I still like it long-term. It's certainly not as attractive as it was at the end of July, when I was screaming for everyone to buy it, but at the same time this remains a cheap stock, trading around seven to eight times forward earnings.

I still think it's very, very attractive when you talk about the headwinds that it has in Asia, selling about a fifth as many vehicles in the world's biggest auto market, China, as does GM and Volkswagen, big competitors there.

Room to run there, and they have a huge $5 billion investment in Asia, where they'll get most of their growth over the next 10 years.

Still a compelling stock. Not quite as compelling, but I still like Ford, going forward into 2013, 2014, and beyond.

Andrew: As a Ford shareholder, that's what I like to hear. Brendan, thanks so much for your insight. Thanks for watching, folks, and we'll see you at Fool.com.


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