How the auto stocks stack up

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From worst to first.

Well, not quite. General Motors' shares plunged 52% last year, second worst on Advertising Age's AdMarket 50. Year to date, GM stock rocketed 67%, making it by far the index's hottest performer.

GM has surged as it makes headway on employee buyouts and a daunting turnaround. GM lost $3.2 billion last quarter after taking a $3.7 billion charge for buyouts and pensions, but operating results and cost cutting demonstrate early progress on the turnaround.

At DaimlerChrysler, Daimler is propping up Chrysler. Operating profits at Germany's Mercedes-Benz surged last quarter, but profits at Michigan's Chrysler Group plunged 91% to $64 million. DaimlerChrysler net income last quarter soared 146% to $2.3 billion.

DaimlerChrysler projects a third-quarter operating loss at Chrysler Group of up to $630 million but vows the unit will be profitable for the year on strength from new models.

Ford Motor Co. last quarter lost $123 million vs. a profit a year ago. Revenue in its North American auto business fell, though Ford reported a smaller operating loss in the region.

GM's been this year's hot stock, and DaimlerChrysler is up 1% after a 6% gain last year. And Ford? It's more way backward than Way Forward. The stock plunged 47% last year and is down 11% year to date.

Ford this month hit its lowest level-$6.19-since 1992. That was less than three times the adjusted initial public offering price Ford got when it went public in a celebrated stock offering 50 years ago.

Ford's market cap-value of all stock-is just $13 billion. GM, whose stock remains 66% below its all-time high, is worth $18 billion. DaimlerChrysler has a market cap of $53 billion, more than its two rivals combined.
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