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Ford stock near 52-week high
Ford's stock has benefitted in recent weeks from an increase in industry sales and an expectation that the automaker will be able to continue paying off its debt next year.

The price of Ford's stock has increased 24.3% since Aug. 26, when it closed at .17 per share, and is now less than a dollar away from its 52-week high of .57 on April 26.

"It looks like the auto sales are starting to recover a bit, and the past two quarters have been pretty good for Ford," said Mirko Mikelic, senior portfolio manager at Fifth Third Asset Management in Grand Rapids.

For the first half of this year, Ford has earned .7 billion, and the automaker is expected to earn about .2 billion for the third quarter, according to estimates by 15 analysts tracked by Thomson One Analytics.

On Monday, Ford's shares closed at .88, or 8 cents higher than the close Friday, when reports emerged that the automaker might sell a portion of its stake in Mazda.

Ford reduced its stake in Mazda from 33% to 11% in 2008.

"Ford's ownership stake in Mazda remains unchanged," said Ford spokesman Mark Truby. "Ford continues to have a close strategic relationship with Mazda, and we cooperate in areas of mutual benefit."

On Monday, the chairman of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group said he expects the bank to overtake Ford as the largest shareholder in Mazda. Detroit Free Press

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