By Hilary Kramer of
Why You Should Focus on FordUnlike GM, Ford has a host of other positives going for it, making this Detroit icon the much better stock for investors. Here are my top five reasons to buy Ford shares now. 1) Outstanding Leadership. Driving the operation at Ford is the über-capable CEO Alan Mulally. The turnaround he's engineered at Ford is being called his "hall of fame" performance. Mulally has managed to make Ford a profitable operation again, an amazing feat when you consider just how beaten down the auto industry was in the aftermath of the Great Recession. 2) Growing Market Share. Ford's sales soared 20% in October, with truck sales doing even better. In fact, truck sales are up 28% since the beginning of the year. In all, Ford's market share jumped to 16.7, overtaking Toyota Motor ( TM) for the No. 2 spot in the industry. 3) ZERO Employee Benefits Debt. Unlike GM and its huge fiscal employee-benefit overhang, Ford just paid down the final $3.6 billion it owed to its retiree health-care trust last week. That gives the automaker a clean slate when it comes to revving-up its future bottom line. 4) A Wholly-Owned Finance Unit. Ford held on to its finance arm, Ford Motor Credit, which continues to show robust growth. This is in direct contrast to GM, which sold its finance arm (GMAC) in 2006 in a bid to raise capital. In fact, on Oct. 26, Ford Credit reported third-quarter pre-tax operating profit of $766 million, an $89 million improvement from the third quarter of 2009. In addition to the bottom-line bump Ford Motor Credit gives the company, the finance arm also gives Ford an advantage over the competition in financing vehicle loans.
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