GM Adjusted Earnings Overcome $3 Billion Charges

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When General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) reported third-quarter 2017 results before markets opened Tuesday morning, the automaker posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.32 on revenues of $33.62 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $1.72 on revenues of $38.89 billion. Third-quarter results also compare to the consensus estimates $1.13 in EPS and $32.67 billion in revenues.

On a GAAP basis, GM reported EPS of $0.08, which included a non-cash charge of $2.3 billion for the loss of a deferred tax asset related to the recent sale of its Opel/Vauxhall business. The company’s GAAP net loss for the quarter totaled $2.98 billion.

Second-quarter EBIT-adjusted net income totaled $2.52 billion, compared with $3.66 billion in the year-ago quarter. Adjustments included the $2.31 billion charge and a $3.1 billion loss from discontinued operations.

Global retail sales volumes decreased by 3% in the third quarter while global market share dipped from 10.6% to 10%. Excluding Europe, global retail sales rose 5.5% and global share rose from 11.7% to 11.9%.

In the United States, share rose 0.3 points to 17.3%, Latin American share rose 0.2 points to 16.1% and Asia/Pacific, Middle East, Africa sales rose 0.3 points to 9.3%. Fleet sales increased from 150.5% to 17.4% of retail sales.

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

Planned downtime in North American operations, including six weeks in full-size truck plants, contributed to reduced wholesale volume of 268,000 units, or 26 percent compared to Q3 2016. The downtime lowered U.S. dealer inventory by 160,000 units to 821,000 as of Sept. 30, compared to June 30.

In the prior quarter, U.S. dealer inventory rose by 273,000 units.

Mary Barra, the company’s CEO, said:

We delivered solid results even with planned, lower third-quarter production in North America. We are managing the business with discipline to drive strong performance today, while investing in higher-return opportunities, including those that will shape the future of transportation.

The company did not provide guidance with its announcement, and GM’s chief financial officer said the company was looking for “strong results through the end of the year.” Consensus estimates call for fourth-quarter EPS of $1.40 and revenues of $35.97 billion. For the full year, analysts are looking for EPS of $6.12 and revenues of $146.21 billion.

GM’s shares traded up more than 2% about an hour after Tuesday’s opening bell, at $46.25 in a 52-week range of $30.21 to $46.76. The high was posted this morning, and the 12-month price target for the shares was $43.26 before this morning’s report.