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AAA  Nov. 17, 2012
Happy b-day
By TOM KRISHER
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It has been an eventful two years for General Motors.

Sunday marks the anniversary of its initial public stock offering, when shares sold for $33 and the automaker’s future was uncertain.

Since then, the industry has regained some of its traction. Total annual sales in the U.S. have rebounded from a 2009 low of 10.4 million vehicles to this year’s estimated 14.4 million. GM has made more than $16 billion and is sitting on a cash stockpile of almost $32 billion.

But GM stock hasn’t enjoyed the same trajectory. It is up nearly 15 percent this year, nearly double the 8 percent rise of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. But it’s down 28 percent from its debut.

With the presidential election behind us, Wall Street analysts say GM is poised for growth. There’s speculation that it will try to buy back some of the government’s remaining stake from the 2008 bailout – 500 million shares or 26.5 percent of the company. A buyback could boost the stock price by cutting the number of shares on the market.

Analysts polled by FactSet maintain an average price target of almost $33 on GM stock.

“It currently trades cheap,” Barclay’s analyst Brian Johnson told investors in a recent note. “We believe a Treasury wind-down combined with a share buyback from GM could provide a boost to the stock.” GM is his top pick in the auto sector.

Associated Press
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