2013 Ford Fusion
After flirting with penny-stock status in November 2008, Ford's stock price soared over 1300% to reach $18.65 in January 2011. Since then, it's drifted slowly downward. Yesterday, it opened at $13.78 as Ford announced sales figures for 2012.
As it turns out, the company saw whopping pre-tax profits of $8 billion, net income of $5.7 billion, and fourth-quarter pre-tax profits of $1.7 billion -- the highest in over a decade. In a separate release, Ford announced that its share of the hybrid market jumped roughly nine points, while Toyota fell eight.
However, Ford's balance sheets weren't quite as bright as they were at the close of 2011, and the automaker predicted continued trouble ahead in Europe and South America.
At the end of the day, Ford's stock closed down 77 cents, at $13.01.
Markets are not rational. Stock prices are driven, in part, by analysts more concerned with short-term losses than long-term profits. Apple and Ford both suffer from heightened expectations because of their recent can-do-no-wrong reputations. Any crack in their armor is likely to cue the Cassandras.
We are not accountants. We are not lawyers. And we are certainly not financial advisors. But from where we sit, the minor setbacks facing Apple and Ford don't do anything to diminish their prospects down the road.