Why GM Earnings Failed to Impress Investors

Print Email

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) reported second-quarter 2017 results before markets opened Tuesday. The automaker posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.89 on revenues of $36.98 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $1.79 on revenues of $37.38 billion. Second-quarter results also compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $1.69 and $40.15 billion in revenues.

Second-quarter net income from continuing operations fell 11.3% to $2.4 billion and North American adjusted pretax earnings (EBIT) totaled $3.7 billion, down 4.3% year over year. The company said improved mix and cost efficiencies “largely offset” lower volume, price and foreign exchange effects.

The company took three significant one-time charges in the quarter: $460 million for the restructuring of its international operations; $114 million for the ignition switch recall; and $80 million for the deconsolidation of its Venezuelan operations. On a GAAP basis, net income fell from $2.87 billion in the same period last year to $1.66 billion.

On an adjusted basis, pretax net income also included a $770 million charge for discontinued operations, reflecting the sale of the company’s Opel Group.

Global retail sales volumes decreased by 2% in the second quarter, while global market share dipped from 10.3% to 10.2%. Excluding Europe, global share was flat at 11.5%.

In the United States, share fell 0.2 points to 16.1, European share dipped 0.5 points to 5.7%, Latin American share rose 0.7 points to 15.9%, and Asia/Pacific, Middle East, Africa sales were flat at 9%. Fleet sales declined from 20.5% to 19.1% of retail sales.

Regarding its continuing inventory issues, GM noted in its earnings presentation:

U.S. dealer inventory increased 273,000 units from the prior year due to production supporting GM’s high volume crossover launches, and the build of full-size pickup inventory in advance of the previously announced plant shutdown for re-tooling for the next generation pickup.

GM said it expects inventories to reach about 70 days of supply by the end of the year. At the end of June the company reported days of supply totaled 105, with about 960,000 cars and trucks on its lots.

Mary Barra, the company’s CEO, said:

Disciplined and relentless focus on improving our business performance led to a strong quarter and very solid first half of the year. We will continue transforming GM to capitalize on growth opportunities and deliver even more value for our shareholders.

The company did not provide guidance with its announcement, and GM’s CFO said the company was “on track to meet our financial commitments for 2017.” Consensus estimates call for third-quarter EPS of $1.23 and revenues of $36.9 billion. For the full year, analysts are looking for EPS of $6.07 and revenues of $157.18 billion.

Global unit volume sales fell 2% year over year, with North American sales down 3.4%, European sales down 8.7% and international sales down 14.7%. Sales in South America rose 17.9%, while sales in China were up 1.6%.

GM’s shares traded down about 1% in Tuesday’s premarket session to $35.50, in a 52-week range of $29.82 to $38.55. The 12-month price target for the shares was $39.27 before this morning’s report.