Updated from 1:09 p.m. ESTIn Ford's ( F) darkest days, any signs of light are still far in the distance. On Thursday, the No. 2 U.S. automaker reported a $12.7 billion loss for 2006 -- the largest in its history -- as its market share continued to erode and its production levels were slashed. Moreover, the company said that 2007 likely will show more deterioration of operating results and restructuring charges will continue. With losses as far as the eye can see, investing in Ford at this point amounts to a blind bet on its new CEO, Alan Mulally, and his ability to take the company's cash build-up and transform it into a new, profitable enterprise. Shares of Ford were recently up 3 cents, or 0.5% to $8.23 as some investors viewed the massive losses as a sign that the worst is behind Ford, and the company's stock can now begin the same sort of rebound that its counterpart, General Motors ( GM) staged in 2006. Shares of GM led the Dow Jones Industrial Average last year with a 60% jump. Ford's shares broke even for the year, as the company just managed to begin the turnaround process that GM executed. "With losses this big and leverage this high, there's really no way to build any kind of fundamental case around Ford's shares now," says Morningstar analyst John Novak. "The stock is really like an out-of-the-money call option, and the strike price is the survival of the company."