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When Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally joined team Ford back in 2006, Blue Oval stocks were trading at $8.36 per share. But a very bad recession and an especially hard hit auto market have torpedoed Ford shares to their lowest levels in decades. With stocks hovering around the Mendoza line, Mulally has the opportunity to make some real coin, as he's been awarded the option to purchase five million shares of common Ford stock.

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Well, we have to say we saw this coming. Ford has officially sold off approximately 20% of its stake in Mazda. The sale reduces Ford's share from a controlling 33.4% interest to just over 13% and puts about $540 million into the Dearborn coffers, based on a sale price figured at Mazda's closing value Tuesday. The cash infusion will certainly help Ford's bottom line in these rough economic times, and the fact that the shares are being sold back to Mazda (7 percent) and to about 20 of its strategi

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Just four months ago, Kirk Kerkorian had a cup out and was asking passers-by for some spare Ford shares. Although he only wanted 20 million of them, he was offered one billion. Turns out those folks trying to get out of the Ford ownership business might have been a bit more prescient than the Tracinda billionaire. After a couple more weeks of watching Ford's share price begin digging toward the center of the earth, Kerkorian seems to want out of Ford himself.

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Here's all you really need to know about why Ford is suffering in the marketplace. William Clay Ford Jr., speaking to the Associated Press, about the slump in SUV sales and the company's decrease in stock value, said that "the speed with which consumers migrated from gas guzzlers caught the company by surprise".

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