The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.



) --


(F) - Get Report

will release its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2011 on Friday.

Judging from its sales numbers in the last two months, we expect good results that should boost the market's confidence in this stock. The stock has already gained close to 25% in the last three months, and this confidence should be further heightened when it releases its strong sales numbers in China and the U.S., the world's two largest automobile markets.

Ford competes globally with other major automakers such as


(GM) - Get Report



(TM) - Get Report



(HMC) - Get Report


We currently have a

Trefis price estimate of $14 for Ford's Stock , around 11% above the current market price.

See our full analysis of the Ford stock


Strong North America Sales Growth

Ford has seen stellar growth in its vehicle sales in North America during November and December. While in November, its sales increased by 13% to 166,865 (including fleet deliveries), and in December it increased by about 21% to reach 201,737.

This marks the first time since 1970 that Ford has seen a three-point market share gain over three consecutive years. This rise can mainly be attributed to the after effect of the tsunami in Japan that struck Japanese auto makers like Toyota and Honda hard.

As production capacity was stalled, their market share was rapidly picked up by Ford and other North American auto makers. We expect Ford to post a meaningful increase in market share this quarter, which we expect will gradually decrease as Japanese auto makers reach their full production capacity again.

China is one of the key international markets currently for Ford, but this may change in the long term. Ford has posted an impressive 7% growth rate in China that is much greater than the overall Chinese market which grew at 2.5%. However, macroeconomic indicators in China are not looking good, as the Chinese government is looking to draft policies which will increase interest rates affecting buyers. China is also contemplating policies that support domestic auto makers as they have lagged behind international players due to their low brand appeal.



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This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.