GM Earnings Jump on Record Revenues, But Europe Weighs on Shares

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General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) reported third-quarter 2016 results before markets opened Tuesday morning. For the quarter, the automaker posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.76 on revenues of $42.8 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $1.50 on revenues of $38.84 billion. Third-quarter results compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $1.44 and $39.29 billion in revenues.

North American first quarter EBIT-adjusted earnings rose 14.4% to $3.5 billion year over year. EBIT-adjusted margins came in at 8.3%, up 0.3 point.

Global deliveries rose 3.8% in the third quarter while global market share fell 40 basis points year over year. In the United States, share was down 0.1 point to 17%, European share dipped 0.3 point to 6%, Latin American share rose 1.8 points to 10.7%, and Asia/Pacific, Middle East, Africa sales dipped 0.7 point o 9.3%. Fleet sales fell from 17.7% to 15.5%.

Cash flow from automotive operations totaled $5.8 billion, up from $3.2 billion a year ago and adjusted free cash flow also totaled $3.5 billion, up from $2.7 billion.

Mary Barra, the company’s CEO, said:

Our record third quarter, led by strong performance in the U.S. and China, reflects our determination to deliver on our commitments. We will continue executing our plan to deliver earnings that enhance shareholder returns.

The company now expects full-year EPS at the high end of its expected range of $5.50 to $6.00. Consensus estimates call for fourth-quarter revenues of $39.55 billion and EPS of $1.27. For the full year analysts are looking for EPS of $5.85 and revenues of $158.85.

In the first nine months of 2016, GM has paid $1.8 billion in dividends and repurchased $1.5 billion in common stock. The company has completed its initial $5 billion stock buyback program one quarter earlier than planned.

Further weakness in European sales caused by the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union shaved about $100 million from GM’s sales and that drag is expected to rise to $300 million in the fourth quarter. That is the likely cause for the cool reception from investors in Tuesday’s premarket trading.

GM’s shares traded up about 0.6% in Tuesday’s pre-market session at $33.16 in a 52-week range of $26.69 to $36.88. The 12-month price target for the shares was $36.28 before this morning’s report.

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