NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

American International Group

(AIG) - Get Report

shares are hitting highs not seen since October 2008, as investors prepare for potential upside as the government begins selling off its 92% stake in the firm.

On Wednesday morning, the stock continued its journey north, up 0.6% in pre-market trading at $55.49. The stock has been hitting new highs for the past couple of weeks, trading at adjusted levels not seen since before AIG's government bailout in the fall of 2008. The stock is up 84% year-to-date.

AIG isn't widely covered by Wall Street and those who track the stock don't often update their analyses. The shares topped the average price target of $33 long ago, as well as a high target of $53, according to

Thomson Reuters

On Sept. 30, AIG unveiled a plan to repay the government in full. The plan was

tweaked earlier this month, but ultimately the firm intends to pay the

Federal Reserve

with funds from two large asset sales and pay the U.S. Treasury Department by converting its large preferred stake into common stock.

The Treasury plans to start selling shares next year, as soon as March. A

Reuters

report on Tuesday said the government plans to sell 20% of its stake next year in two large offerings.

AIG executives and Treasury officials have said the government will ultimately make a profit on its investment, which hit $180 billion at the height of its bailout and now stands at $50 billion.

-- Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York

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