Forget housing data, GDP, mortgage applications and every other wonk data point thrust upon you by the breathless media. The most under-reported story of the last five years is the humble Ford Motor Company (F).
In November 2008 Ford was flat on its back and beaten senselessly by too much leverage and no demand. Shares were trading at a humiliating $1.43. For the full year Ford lost an almost incomprehensible $14.7 billion.
While General Motors (GM) and Chrysler were getting bailed out to the tune of $25 billion, Ford was going it alone. Almost. They did take a $5 billion loan in exchange for agreeing to fast track green initiatives but that simply kept them on even competitive footing.
From this humbling low Ford was slowly rebuilt. The company was streamlined and new products were introduced. Despite the age of the current fleet of cars on the road being as high as it's ever been, Ford's revenues have recovered.
Despite weakness in Europe and a rapid decline in the Chinese economy the company has reversed its losses, paid its debts and regained its mojo in an unquantifiable way. This 2012 Stock of the Year has gained more than 800% from its lows, nearly doubled in the last 52-weeks, and gained nearly 30% in 2013.
Last week Ford reported its best July sales figures since 2006, posting 11% year-over-year gains. Todd Schoenberger of Landcolt Trading says shares have more room to run. "Americans are buying cars again and what cars are they buying? They're buying Ford," Schoenberger says in the attached clip.
Any stock on this type of run is due for a pause but Ford has earned the right to rest and refuel. Domestic annual sales are at pre-crisis highs and the company is firing on a lot of, if not all cylinders.
Sometimes companies are about more than just a ticker. Every once in a while investors just have to sit back and admire a great story.
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