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By Jason Stipp | 03-03-2011 11:49 AM

Five Stock Picks for a Market Hiccup

Stock investors looking to put some money to work should consider these names, says Morningstar markets editor Jeremy Glaser.

Jason Stipp: I'm Jason Stipp for Morningstar, and welcome to the Friday Five.

Although the market has hit a few speed bumps recently, we found that some stocks still have plenty of runway and potential ahead of them.

Here with me to talk about these names and why they're trading at attractive prices is Morningstar markets editor, Jeremy Glaser.

Jeremy, thanks for joining me.

Jeremy Glaser: You are very welcome, Jason.

Stipp: So what do you have for the Friday Five this week?

Glaser: Well, this week, we're going to take a look at Ford, Sprint, Cisco, Abbott Labs, and finally Sonic.

Stipp: So Ford is an interesting name. I don't know that it's one that we would have always recommended throughout the history of Morningstar research. Why is it looking attractive today?

Glaser: Ford has really seen a remarkable turnaround in the last couple of years led by CEO Alan Mulally. When he came over from Boeing, he was new to the auto industry, and I think was able to use a first set of eyes and management techniques to really get Ford on the right track, starting with what Bill Ford had started with, mortgaging the plants to get enough money and liquidity to get through the crisis without having to resort to the government bailout money that GM and Chrysler did.

I think that really helped them in the consumer's eyes, but so did producing cars that people actually wanted. They were able to get their reliability up, get it on par with some of the Asian imports, and that really I think helped their sales and helped them take advantage of some of the problems that other automakers were facing. They were also able to get important concessions from labor and from other key stakeholders, so that they are able to have a more competitive cost structure.

So even though auto sales are still pretty depressed, and we're going to have to wait a few more years until we get back to that normalized range, when we do, Ford really has the opportunity to be incredibly profitable.

Our analyst, Dave Whiston, doesn't believe that the company has a moat, but he does think that they're going to see some pretty bright prospects in the coming years, and I think Ford is something that should be on a lot of investors' radar screens.

Stipp: So, maybe Ford beaten down a little bit because of the whole auto industry being depressed right now, but it's certainly well-positioned for that recovery that hopefully we'll see soon.

The second one, Jeremy, I think it's pretty clear why this one might be beaten down. It's Sprint, but why are its prospects brighter than what the market thinks they are right now?

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