GM (GM): The Silver Lining Is Global Market Share

Douglas A. McIntyre

gm20jpeg20image4GM (GM) posted a loss of $9.65 a share  for Q4 2008 compared to analyst forecasts of a $7.40 loss. Under most circumstances, that would be terribly bad news.

For the full year, revenue fell from $180 million last year to $149 million in the most recent period. The fourth quarter 2008 results reflect special items totaling $3.7 billion

While GM North American lost $8.8 billion in Q4 2008, and posted red ink in all of the other regions that it includes in its financials, the company held onto it 9% plus market share in Europe and its 7% plus market share in Asia. The drops in US and Latin America, market share were modest. GM’s share of the American light vehicle market was down from 22.7% in 2007 to 21% in 2008.

The figures should tell the Administration a great deal. The problems with GM can be identified as debt and labor costs. But, in terms of acceptance of the company’s products, the largest US car company is not collapsing. That is a clear sign that as the global economy recovers, GM has every opportunity to move back to profitability if it can make it through the recession with a restructured business and financial aid.

GM is not dead. It is just on the critical list.