Ford posts a profit in Q3

posted at 9:30 am on November 2, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Analysts expected Ford to take a 20-cent per share loss in the third quarter.  Instead, the automaker beat that by 46 cents, posting its first quarterly profit in over a year, and making believers on Wall Street:

Ford Motor Co., the only major U.S. automaker to avoid bankruptcy, posted a $997 million net income in the third quarter and its first operating profit since early 2008. It expects to be “solidly profitable” in 2011.

On an adjusted basis, Ford reported a quarterly pretax profit of $1.1 billion, or 26 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $3 billion or $1.32. Ford beat the 20-cents per share adjusted loss it was forecast to report by an average of 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. …

“Ford is a company that’s well into a turnaround,” said Bernie McGinn, president of McGinn Investment Management of Alexandria, Virginia, which owns about 320,000 Ford shares. “They did it by themselves and didn’t take government money. That gives people a good gut feeling and they’re being rewarded for that.”

While GM and Chrysler struggle, Ford has built a new reputation for independence and competence.  The efforts of its management to steer a course away from taxpayer bailouts has generated a lot of goodwill — perhaps not in Detroit itself or with the unions, but with consumers angry at the corporate welfare policies of this administration and its predecessor.  That goodwill will translate to better sales, assuming that Ford can overcome its competitive disadvantage on labor costs, an effort that will officially fail this week on their first attempt.

However, Ford has to wonder whether they face a disadvantage at all.  For the first time in 80 years, they bested GM in market share, and GM has had to pare back its offerings significantly as a result of their collapse.  GM’s credit group GMAC needs another big bailout, which may or may not be forthcoming — and without it, they’re going to sell fewer cars.  Chrysler hardly even exists at the moment, with or without the bailouts, and looks as though it may fade away at any moment.

Ford has found a formula for success: self-sufficiency, or at least enough of it to differentiate themselves from their domestic competition.


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Good for them – I know the next car I get will be a Ford and my Grandpa worked for GM his entire life.

This is good news for the free market

gophergirl on November 2, 2009 at 9:32 AM

How dare they make a profit on their own, free from government oversight? Time to increase the windfall tax on non-government owned auto-companies.

David Mickelson on November 2, 2009 at 9:32 AM

And the UAW is determined to bring Ford to its knees

tree hugging sister on November 2, 2009 at 9:33 AM

That will help pay for the union contracts.

MarkTheGreat on November 2, 2009 at 9:33 AM

Ford succeeds on their own merits…

… and companies that received bailouts still fail or founder.

What have we learned here class?

rockbend on November 2, 2009 at 9:33 AM

Didn’t I read somewhere that the UAW doesn’t want to cut the same deals with Ford that it has with government and union owned GM/Chrysler?

a capella on November 2, 2009 at 9:34 AM

Im buying a Ford.

True_King on November 2, 2009 at 9:34 AM

Great news… now waiting for the bad news spin…

Chicost84 on November 2, 2009 at 9:35 AM

O’Bambi will be seething with rage at this news. Watch for him to get his revenge by siding with the UAW who is now negotiating for higher wages with Ford.

After all, with all this dirty profit, they can afford it now.

honsy on November 2, 2009 at 9:35 AM

The final step is for Ford to relocate to some Southern State that will love them instead of hate them.

Mojave Mark on November 2, 2009 at 9:36 AM

We need to demand that the bailouts to GM and Chrysler end.

jhffmn on November 2, 2009 at 9:36 AM

Nice! I bought a Ford Escape in July and I love it! Also my city has a Ford assembly plant so that’s good news for them.

CityFish on November 2, 2009 at 9:37 AM

Impossible. No company can survive without a government bailout. Re-check those numbers.

Hannity will not be pleased… he’s been shilling for Government Motors… which amounts to barking up the wrong tree.

mankai on November 2, 2009 at 9:38 AM

Move the headquarters to Houston and stay independent. Ford would be the world’s #1 automaker within 3 years.

Sugar Land on November 2, 2009 at 9:38 AM

My two Ford cars were pretty crappy. I’d like to see them get their act together. This is good news.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on November 2, 2009 at 9:38 AM

Windfall tax next.

the_nile on November 2, 2009 at 9:39 AM

It looks like Pookie got off the couch and bought a Ford.

kingsjester on November 2, 2009 at 9:39 AM

Right on Ford!

Weebork on November 2, 2009 at 9:39 AM

Is Ford’s recent profit a by-product of the Cash for Clunkers sales? If so, will they go back to the red next quarter?

And, as noted above, the irony of Ford being profitable is that the UAW has even more leverage to extract favorable contracts. (Not that the UAW would ever lose out during the O administration anyway, of course.)

jwolf on November 2, 2009 at 9:39 AM

Nowhere did you mention that those profits are “obscene.”

Don’t you read the NY Times?

mankai on November 2, 2009 at 9:39 AM

I look at buying a GM car the same as giving money to panhandlers. It might make you feel better about yourself, but in the end, you’re only encouraging the behavior.

Meric1837 on November 2, 2009 at 9:39 AM

How dare they make a profit on their own, free from government oversight? Time to increase the windfall tax on non-government owned auto-companies.

David Mickelson on November 2, 2009 at 9:32 AM

You type that in jest, but I will bet you that today behind closed doors that topic will actually be discussed in Washington DC today. And in multiple offices no doubt.

Johnnyreb on November 2, 2009 at 9:40 AM

It looks like Pookie got off the couch and bought a Ford.

kingsjester on November 2, 2009 at 9:39 AM

+1 Hilarious!!!!

sammypants on November 2, 2009 at 9:40 AM

I call BS on this. Ford could not possibly have recovered all by itself without gubbmint help. It goes against the laws of nature. Everybody knows the free market just don’t work. Barry said! /sarc

Oldnuke on November 2, 2009 at 9:40 AM

Proving again that you’re only as free as you are independent.

beatcanvas on November 2, 2009 at 9:40 AM

Being from Florida, my expirience with unions is next to none. That said, with the economy being what it is, why would Ford give a rats ass what their union wants? Their union is a conflict of interest, it has part ownership in a competitor! Crazy.

Good for Ford though, I just hope they give the union the finger.

javamartini on November 2, 2009 at 9:40 AM

Good. Now Ford just needs to scrape the union off its heels and see obscene profits and growth. That would be delicious.

Monica on November 2, 2009 at 9:40 AM

But what will Clunkers do for their 4Q sales and then its 1Q sales next year? Ford will be a good case study on the effects of Clunkers on the 4Q and 1Q sales.

TQM38a on November 2, 2009 at 9:41 AM

Well who would have known that ford the only one of the big three that did not take money from the Gov is the only one that made a profit .Private sector 1 big Gov.0

thmcbb on November 2, 2009 at 9:42 AM

jwolf on November 2, 2009 at 9:39 AM

The irony of the C4C program was that of the top 10 models purpcahsed, I believe 7 were foreign makes and 2 were Ford cars. Of the top 10 crushed clunkers (and their need for parts), most were GM or Chrysler models.

mankai on November 2, 2009 at 9:42 AM

Time to boot out the UAW and make double that.

daesleeper on November 2, 2009 at 9:44 AM

Good job Ford though how much of this profit was a result of the taxpayer funded and short term benefit of the clunker program?

Still, I respect Ford for going it alone and not taking the Government bribe. GM has always been government motors, ever since FDR.

On an adjusted basis, Ford reported a quarterly pretax profit of $1.1 billion, or 26 cents a share

you know what would make them more profitable and competitive? Dropping the Corporate tax rate. Think Obama will ever cut their taxes to help them no? Nah, then he couldn’t control them.

Daemonocracy on November 2, 2009 at 9:44 AM

Damn! That keep your damn bailout-We will use Capitalism instead thing may have worked. Who’d a thunk?

AnthonyK on November 2, 2009 at 9:45 AM

The new Mustangs are pretty nice, but until they quash the unions I won’t be buying Ford/GM/Chrysler.

SouthernGent on November 2, 2009 at 9:46 AM

A teachable moment for Pookie-in-Chief, the private sector works when government is not involved.

farright on November 2, 2009 at 9:46 AM

Don’t forget one thing: Quality Product.

I’ve had the opportunity to drive a few new Ford’s lately in my travels. The now-discontinued Freestyle (which was basically absorbed into the Taurus “wagon” series) uses a CVT (continuously variable transmission) which I just love. The Escapes, Fusions and Focuses are very nice rides as well.

Ford will absorb more of the domestic market. Well, at least until the Obama Administration Car Czar decides to intervene somehow.

Nethicus on November 2, 2009 at 9:47 AM

Hey Ford…Come on down! Sincerely, Texas

redwhiteblue on November 2, 2009 at 9:47 AM

Move the headquarters to Houston and stay independent. Ford would be the world’s #1 automaker within 3 years.

Sugar Land on November 2, 2009 at 9:38 AM

That’s the ticket.

marklmail on November 2, 2009 at 9:49 AM

Yep, the UAW will make sure to take care of that.

Rotten bastards……..

JoeinTX on November 2, 2009 at 9:49 AM

While GM and Chrysler struggle, Ford has built a new reputation for independence and competence.

“That’s why Ford must be destroyed”. Barrack Obama and UAW.

Way to go Ford. Keep it up. We are rooting for you.

Hog Wild on November 2, 2009 at 9:51 AM

As a lifelong citizen of the great state of Michigan, I can assure you this is wonderful news…. Now…. If the UAW manages to feel “entitlement” for their progress and profits…It could turn into an unfortunate story.

shar61 on November 2, 2009 at 9:53 AM

I’m still going to drive my Acura, and buy another one soon. I’m not giving one red cent to the UAW.

uknowmorethanme on November 2, 2009 at 9:53 AM

Governors from Right to Work states should start the process of luring Ford into their states. If they thought not taking bail out money was a winning sales strategy, getting rid of the unions will eclipse that.

Cindy Munford on November 2, 2009 at 9:54 AM

corporate welfare policies of this administration and its predecessor

Wow, Ed. You sound like a liberal.

Grow Fins on November 2, 2009 at 9:54 AM

Sugar Land on November 2, 2009 at 9:38 AM

” Move the headquarters to Houston and stay independent. Ford would be the world’s #1 automaker within 3 years.”

I have to agree, and I am from Michigan… The redstate of TX would be a brilliant move.

shar61 on November 2, 2009 at 9:55 AM

Van Jones is demanding that Ford “give them the wealth, give them the wealth” to GM and Chrysler.

Conservatives need to stand with Ford, and they need to tie GM and Chrysler around Obama’s neck.

BuckeyeSam on November 2, 2009 at 9:56 AM

Sugar Land on November 2, 2009 at 9:38 AM

More to the point, being the process of moving Ford into ‘right to work’ states.

That would send an unmistakable message to the UAW: get real, or get gone.

CPT. Charles on November 2, 2009 at 9:57 AM

I will never buy a GM or Chrysler product again. There are tens of millions like me.

jukin on November 2, 2009 at 9:57 AM

“That’s why Ford must be destroyed”. Barrack Obama and UAW.

Hog Wild on November 2, 2009 at 9:51 AM

“Ford delenda est” — Barack Cato Obama

jwolf on November 2, 2009 at 9:58 AM

Ford gave the Pinnochio administration the finger once and it appears to have paid off big time!

Now give Pinnochio the finger again by firing the wholly owned Democrat union thugs and replace them with free enterprise loving Americans and I will be proud to buy American again.

Otherwise, if my choice is Demonrat union made or Chinese, Japanese, I buy foreign!
They own us now and into the future anyway and I refuse to support the Demonrat Anti-American Facsists!

dhunter on November 2, 2009 at 9:59 AM

I’m curious if anyone here knows or has come across a good article that covers the backstory of Ford’s refusal to accept government money?

How did it happen, who were the key players in the decision, did it happen under Bush or Obama, what was the reaction from the government, etc..?

rrpjr on November 2, 2009 at 10:03 AM

So, Joe Biden and Barney Frank won’t be getting any Ford warehouses or production plants in their states, then?

Caper29 on November 2, 2009 at 10:03 AM

I will never buy a GM or Chrysler product again. There are tens of millions like me.

jukin on November 2, 2009 at 9:57 AM

+1

Caper29 on November 2, 2009 at 10:05 AM

Ford has found a formula for success: self-sufficiency, or at least enough of it to differentiate themselves from their domestic competition.

The free market capitalism system?
That’s so 18th century.

/socialist babble

MarkBoabaca on November 2, 2009 at 10:05 AM

Well, Toyota shut down their Cali’ plant……..the only car factory left in LaLaLand…….with plans to move the operation somewhere east to a right-to-work state. Good for them.

Why? Take a wild guess.

JoeinTX on November 2, 2009 at 10:06 AM

I have to agree, and I am from Michigan… The redstate of TX would be a brilliant move.

shar61 on November 2, 2009 at 9:55 AM

Toyota is already moving plants here from California, axing union jobs in the process.

It is appalling how these union members continue to beat their heads against the wall.

Although maybe they think this Congress is going to restore union supremacy.

Another good reason to string out this health care “reform” effort as long as possible, in order to trash other odious parts of the Obama agenda.

NoDonkey on November 2, 2009 at 10:08 AM

My last four cars where Chryslers. I bought a Ford this past summer. I don’t think I’m alone. No government motors car for me.

This is a little frightening, though. Ford doing well is really, really bad for Obama and his government car companies. We know what Obama does to people who are bad for him. He destroys them. I imagine he’s working hand-in-hand with the UAW right now to cripple Ford and force them on the government dole. Remember, we have a federal government now who is all about destroying successful US businesses who aren’t owned by the feds.

Rational Thought on November 2, 2009 at 10:08 AM

http://blogs.consumerreports.org/cars/2009/08/cash-for-clunkers-top-10-most-popular-new-cars-and-trade-ins.html

Well lookin at the list of top tenn purchased I strangely can’t find a single Government Motors atuo G.M. or Chrysler but certainly stimulated the Japanese and freedom loving Ford.

Now as for the trade in list 5 Fords, 3 Chryslers, 2 G.M.

Based on this and the fact that the trade in cost taxpayers $24,000.00 per car I’d say Democrat math will having us all eatin Rice by the time the 2012 lections roll around .

Yeeeeehaaaaa goood calculatin there dems now tell me what your gonna do for my healthcare! CRAPWEASALS

dhunter on November 2, 2009 at 10:08 AM

I will never buy a GM or Chrysler product again. There are tens of millions like me.

jukin on November 2, 2009 at 9:57 AM

People who want a new car that makes it all the way home from the dealership without breaking down?

NoDonkey on November 2, 2009 at 10:09 AM

I am ecstatic for Ford, but I cannot help but think that somewhere deep-down in the bowels of the White House, something rotten is afoot concerning Ford.

Dave R. on November 2, 2009 at 10:13 AM

Remember, we have a federal government now who is all about destroying successful US businesses who aren’t owned by the feds.

Rational Thought

Excuse me, but they will destroy even those that they also control!

honsy on November 2, 2009 at 10:14 AM

Obama and Pelosi announce a new auto industry “windfall profits tax” that will retroactively go into effect. Ford’s tax obligation payable to the feds, $1 billion.

Jeff from WI on November 2, 2009 at 10:14 AM

I am still wondering about this and don’t know the answer: how is it that the UAW is not in violation of antitrust laws? If they effectively have no competition and control labor prices across the entire domestic auto manufacturing sector?

TexasDan on November 2, 2009 at 10:15 AM

I love the smell of free market capitalism in the morning.

Now Ford has to come out with a new model and call it the “Sarah” just to rub it in.

fogw on November 2, 2009 at 10:15 AM

If Ford can keep Obama’s meet hooks off of them, they will do fine.
Today is the finest hour to throttle the unions. Buy a saturn plant.

On the other hand, where are the financial statements from GM? Are the auditors preparing them named Gibbs, Biden and Cheatum???

seven on November 2, 2009 at 10:16 AM

Nice to see Ford succeed, but until they get rid of the hated UAW, I’ll stick with my cheap but well built (South) Korean vehicles.
(and they’ve always been our allies and never bombed Pearl)

Jeff from WI on November 2, 2009 at 10:17 AM

We own only Fords. SUVs at that.

Course we also request plastic bags at the grocer.

We like petroleum (and free-market capitalism) down here in Texas.

publiuspen on November 2, 2009 at 10:17 AM

I am ecstatic for Ford, but I cannot help but think that somewhere deep-down in the bowels of the White House, something rotten is afoot concerning Ford.

Dave R. on November 2, 2009 at 10:13 AM

Me too. Ford has a giant bulls-eye on it right now, and Obama and the UAW are looking for the right trigger to pull.

Rational Thought on November 2, 2009 at 10:17 AM

how is it that the UAW is not in violation of antitrust laws?

Donating heavily to Democrats is the answer to all of life’s problems.

NoDonkey on November 2, 2009 at 10:20 AM

We bought our first Ford this summer — a new Fusion Hybrid. It’s a great car in all respects, as evidenced by all of the online reviews I read beforehand. With the political considerations, the decision was easy.

Sowell Disciple on November 2, 2009 at 10:20 AM

This is exactly why my last purchase was an F-150. I got a brand new 2008 F-150 for a steal last December and going on my first year of ownership I couldn’t be happier.

bj1126 on November 2, 2009 at 10:21 AM

It is appalling how these union members continue to beat their heads against the wall.

Although maybe they think this Congress is going to restore union supremacy.

NoDonkey on November 2, 2009 at 10:08 AM

I have never seen groups of people work so hard so that they can work so little.

Of course that statement could refer to Congress and unions, so it makes perfect sense why they work together.

MarkBoabaca on November 2, 2009 at 10:22 AM

If you’ve got a few bucks to invest Ford Credit has on their website something very close to a money market account. Downside is that they never set it up as a bank (GMAC/Ally) and it’s not covered under FDIC. Believe it’s called Ford Advantage Plan. Consistantly pays way more than a bank deposit but you have to keep an eye on their financial condition. Just wish I’d bought their stock last year when it was at an all time low.

24K lady on November 2, 2009 at 10:25 AM

And of course, the UAW is upset. Business as usual for our scummy unionists.

Jaibones on November 2, 2009 at 10:26 AM

Just bought a Fusion for the wife this weekend. Super nice mid-size. Thumbs up to Features, Fit, Finish and Fun.

Bought it after J.D. Powers trumpeted the initial quality survey where Ford beat all the competition including Honda, Toyota and Kia. Where was Chevy? At the union hall, on the clock, doing crossword puzzles.

Hahahahahahahah.

Texas Tom on November 2, 2009 at 10:27 AM

My Suburban & Trailblazer & Grand Am will all become Fords next time around…and I spent years as a GM Sales Manager in dealerships in the midwest. I love my Suburban, but I hate the way the company flushed it all down the toilet…
Hello Expedition! This all depends of course on whether or not the UAW drives Ford out of business as well.

Tim Zank on November 2, 2009 at 10:27 AM

Ford = F*ck Obama!!! Good for them

Flyboy on November 2, 2009 at 10:32 AM

Ford has had free advertising since the government had taken over GM and Chrystler. When the White House figures this out they are going to try and bankrupt Ford.
The thing is I think the CEO at Ford knew the public didn’t like the bailouts and knew if they took the bailout everyone would boycott them as well. All Ford has to do is sit there and let the government go on and on about how they saved the Government 2. People will get more pissed as the Government throws more money at them. The thing Ford has going for them is they didn’t take any money from the taxpayers, I think if the government tries to step in we will side with Ford instead of the government. I think the big wigs at Ford knows that. You gotta know the people at Ford are reading blogs and such knowing that the people are mad. Will only buy Ford now for buy American.

Brat4life on November 2, 2009 at 10:32 AM

Chrysler and GM are finding out what happens when a Demcrat “helps” them.

What happens to everyone Democrats “help”.

They end up dependent, destitute losers who stand in lines to nowhere, begging for “Obama money”.

NoDonkey on November 2, 2009 at 10:34 AM

Wow, Ed. You sound like a liberal.

Grow Fins on November 2, 2009 at 9:54 AM

So do you.

Johan Klaus on November 2, 2009 at 10:35 AM

If you make a product people actually want, and it isn’t crap, you can sell it. If you make 14 versions of the same basic crappy model under 4 different brands and pretend that Saturn is “independent” you lose.

Neo on November 2, 2009 at 10:35 AM

Ford has built a new reputation for … competence

See Detroit Lions. ;-)

WashJeff on November 2, 2009 at 10:39 AM

When I was in the market for a small pickup a while back after selling my Mustang, out of loyalty I drove an S-10 and a Ranger first. They felt like toys compared to the Nissan Frontier I ultimately bought. Japanese design, but made in TN. I could live with that.

Seems like the consensus is that that Texas= Galt’s Gulch these days. As an IL resident and an ex-Californian I say good on ‘em!

Scott P on November 2, 2009 at 10:49 AM

I’m rooting for Ford.

I’ve heard that the capless fuel system is a complete disaster and the company is scrambling to come up with a solution (in order to prevent a recall). Has anyone been following that?

Y-not on November 2, 2009 at 10:52 AM

With this $997million in the bank, now is the time to face/allow/ provoke a UAW strike. Do this before the UAW and Obama can “fix” things.

Get the strike going and 60 or 90 days later start firing the union workers and shutting the plants. Open new ones in the South.

A direct government bailout of the UAW is impossible. The money doesn’t exist, and it would be political suicide; the public won’t stand for it.

A UAW-free Ford might cause Toyota, Honda and Nissan to follow suit. The de-worming of American labor will be underway.

Arbalest on November 2, 2009 at 10:54 AM

Apparently, in the 1930′s, Ford’s compliance in not lowering the wages of its employees to market level (at the request of Hoover and FDR) was instrumental in causing and prolonging the Great Depression.

Drop the unions, Ford.

Count to 10 on November 2, 2009 at 11:04 AM

People who want a new car that makes it all the way home from the dealership without breaking down?

NoDonkey on November 2, 2009 at 10:09 AM

Since Government Motors shut down a lot of their dealerships, the remaining dealers are further away from where people live.

If Ford is being pressured by the UAW, they should move their plants to right-to-work states.

Way to go, Ford!

Steve Z on November 2, 2009 at 11:16 AM

Grow Fins on November 2, 2009 at 9:54 AM

Grow Fins comes out for small government as though we support subsidies… proves once again he has no idea what conservatism is all about.

mankai on November 2, 2009 at 11:17 AM

“Ford has a better idea.”

(One of their old advertising slogans that they should resurrect.)

CurtZHP on November 2, 2009 at 11:20 AM

Not so fast … Cash for clunkers did the deed, Ford is still roughly $2.5 billion in the hole for the year. Cork that champagne.

tarpon on November 2, 2009 at 11:20 AM

Don’t think they’ll do it right now, but Ford could follow the lead of Boeing. Boeing just decided to expand their 787 production in Charleston, SC rather than in WA state- just after the Charleston employees decertified their union.

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20091029-723919.html

Maybe Ford could buy the Saturn plant, and move some production to TN….

Don’t think it’ll happen, but it’s nice to dream sometimes!

cs89 on November 2, 2009 at 11:29 AM

I hope you all know that Obama and his cronies will have to destroy Ford. They simply can not allow a non-government competitor to succeed. And now Ford’s UAW employees are all stockholders in GM. How healthy is that?

MikeA on November 2, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Actually what Ford needs to do is move to a Non-Union state!

Old Dog on November 2, 2009 at 11:36 AM

Ford’s an interesting case. It briefly dipped its toes into financial services and then got out. At one time it was one of the biggest subprime mortgage lenders in the business. But it got out at the right time and got back to the basics of running a car company. GM didn’t. It went almost all-in on GMAC, and during the boom it used big profits from GMAC to mask poor management and hideous losses in its car business. Only when GMAC started losing money did GM really get serious about turning its car business around, and by then it was too late.

There’s a lesson there that should be learned by all big manufacturers. Stick to your knitting and do not chase profits in other sectors that are far afield from your basic business.

rockmom on November 2, 2009 at 11:37 AM

Move the headquarters to Houston Las Vegas and stay independent. Ford would be the world’s #1 automaker within 3 years.Sugar Land on November 2, 2009 at 9:38 AM

Now that\’s much better.

JohnGalt23 on November 2, 2009 at 11:39 AM

Ford = F*ck Obama!!! Good for them

Flyboy on November 2, 2009 at 10:32 AM

F***
Obama’s
Radical
Destruction

rockmom on November 2, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Wow, Ed. You sound like a liberal.

Grow Fins on November 2, 2009 at 9:54 AM

Not all of us are particularly pro-corporation. There are, in fact, some ideals at play.

It’s easier to address the ideas that you apply to the labels … but not terribly productive. Which is why American politics are how they are, coincidentally.

TheUnrepentantGeek on November 2, 2009 at 11:51 AM

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