Ford Motor Co. rose to the highest in almost seven years in New York trading as investors’ excitement builds in rival General Motors Co.’s impending public stock offering amid strong U.S. car and truck sales.
Ford gained 70 cents, or 4.3 percent, to $17 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, the shares’ highest closing price since Jan. 8, 2004. They have advanced 70 percent this year, including a 39 percent jump since Oct. 1.
GM, which is expected to price its initial public offering this week, is generating investor interest in autos, said Joseph Phillippi, an analyst.
“People are refocusing on the auto industry because of the GM IPO,” said Phillippi, principal of AutoTrends Inc., a consulting firm in Short Hills, New Jersey. “Ford is putting together a real terrific track record. The numbers are going to continue to get better because they have good product momentum.”
Ford earned $6.37 billion in the first nine months of the year, the most since 1998. New models like the Fiesta compact and redesigned Taurus sedan have helped drive Ford’s U.S. sales up 21 percent this year, almost twice the market’s gain of 11 percent.
U.S. retail sales rose 1.2 percent last month, exceeding the highest forecast among economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, according to data from the Commerce Department issued today in Washington. A 5 percent gain among auto dealers led the rise as U.S. light vehicle sales reached a 12.3 million annual selling rate, the highest of the year.
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