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Alan Mulally, Who Fixed Ford in the U.S., Is Worth a Bet in Europe

Mulally is 67 years old and is often questioned about when he will retire. A typical non-response: He told TheStreet in April that "the best is ahead of us (and) whenever I leave the Ford team will continue to keep Ford soaring." Ford Chairman Bill Ford has said that Mulally can stay as long as he wants.

Mulally could have left at 65 when he and Ford were on top, but he chose to stay. It does not seem likely that he would choose to walk away with Ford starting out on a winnable battle to turn things around in Europe.

On Sept. 5, 2006, the day Mulally signed on at Ford, the shares closed at $8.39. The Detroit Three, not surprisingly, were viewed as bankruptcy candidates. Ford shares slumped as low as $1.50 in February 2009, then began a recovery. The shares ended 2009 at $10, up 334%. They reached a high of $18.97 in January 2011 before beginning another slide.

Like Langan, Nesvold has a $14 price target and a buy rating. He noted that Ford is ahead of GM in its Europe restructuring, writing: "We estimate that Ford would be accomplishing these capacity reductions a full 1-2 years earlier than similar actions expected out of GM."

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed

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