Market Overview

This Day In Market History: Ford Goes Public

This Day In Market History: Ford Goes Public

Each day, Benzinga will take a look back at a notable market-related moment that happened on this date.

What Happened?

On this day in 1956, Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) held its initial public offering.

Where Was The Market?

The S&P 500 finished the day at 44.47, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 477.73.

What Else Was Going On In The World?

In 1956, International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) released the first computer with a hard drive, and Elvis Presley released his first single, “Heartbreak Hotel.” The average cost of a new home in the U.S. was $11,700.

Ford Goes Public

Ford Motor Company was fist incorporated on June 16, 1903, but the company didn’t go public until more than 50 years later. In 1903, founder Henry Ford and 11 other private investors split a total of 1,000 shares of stock in the company. Ford himself held 255 of those shares. By Oct. 1, 1903, Ford Motor Company had already turned a profit of $37,000.

Henry Ford died in 1947, but when the company went public in 1956, the Ford family initially maintained 40 percent ownership of the company. The IPO priced at $64.50 per share, and Ford finished its first day up public trading at a price of $70.50 and a market cap of $660 million.

As of 2006, the Ford family still owned roughly 5 percent of Ford’s outstanding shares.

Today, Ford trades at just $13.10 per share, but its market cap has grown to a staggering $54 billion.

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