GM March Sales Rise, but Inventory Still Worries Investors

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General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) on Monday posted total March U.S. sales of 256,224 vehicles, an increase of 1.6% compared with March 2016. Retail deliveries rose five points in the month to 203,113 million units, and fleet deliveries dipped 2.5 percentage points to account for 20.7% of total monthly sales.

GM’s new vehicle sales for March were forecast at 275,000 by analysts at Kelley Blue Book (KBB). The analysts also estimated an average transaction price of $38,504, up 0.6% month over month and down 0.1% year over year. KBB does not include applied consumer incentives to its calculation.

The company said March’s average transaction price was $34,000, down $900 per unit, month over month. The company also said that March incentive spending was fell from 14.9% in February to 13.5% based on J.D. Power PIN estimates.

March sales of the company’s top-selling Silverado pickup fell by 11.6% year over year to 42,410 units, and GMC Sierra sales tumbled 14.3% to 18,460 units. Sales of the Colorado midsize pickup dropped 13.3% to 7,519 units.

Cadillac retail sales decreased 1.5% in March, following an 8.6% decrease in February. Cadillac sales totaled 12,861 units in March.

Total Chevrolet deliveries in March decreased by 2.2% year over year to 172,458 units, with retail sales rising 6.2% to 133,705 units.

The company’s Buick brand saw a year-over-year sales jump of 15.1% in March, including an increase of 22.1% in retail sales. The driver here was the Buick Encore, with a 29% year-over-year gain.

For the auto industry as a whole, GM’s forecast for the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of sales is 17.0 million for February.

GM reported 926,170 units in inventory at the end of March, up by more than 25,000 from the total at the end of February. That represents a 98-day supply, up from 91 at the end of February.

GM’s stock traded down about 3.8% Monday morning, at $34.02 in a 52-week range of $27.34 to $38.55. The 12-month consensus price target on the stock is $39.52.