GM Earnings Can’t Ease Worries on Rising Costs

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When General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) reported second-quarter 2018 results before markets opened Wednesday morning, the automaker posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.81 on revenues of $36.76 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $1.89 on revenues of $36.98 billion. Second-quarter results also compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $1.78 and $36.73 billion in revenues.

Net income for the quarter totaled $2.39 billion, up from $1.66 billion in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted pretax (EBIT) earnings totaled $3.19 billion, down from $3.68 billion a year ago. The company said rising commodity costs along with unfavorable currency exchange rates with Argentina and Brazil have had — and will continue to have — a negative effect on the business.

Total automotive revenues came to $33.31 billion in the quarter, down about 2% from $34 billion in the second quarter of last year. International sales were down 13.7% year over year, and North American sales were up about 0.2%.

GM reported U.S. sales volume of more than 758,000 vehicles in the quarter, up 4.6% year over year. Sales in China totaled more than 858,000 units, pushing first-half sales up 4.4%.

Mary Barra, the company’s CEO, said:

We faced significant external challenges, but delivered solid results this quarter. The fundamentals of our business are strong and we remain focused on our plan – delivering great vehicles, developing technologies to transform personal mobility and creating long-term shareholder value.

The company revised previous guidance based on meaningful increases in commodity costs and foreign exchange rates. GM now expects adjusted EPS of about $6.00 and operating cash flow of about $11.5 billion. Consensus estimates call for third-quarter EPS of $1.62 and revenues of $35.88 billion. For the full year, analysts are looking for EPS of $6.41 and revenues of $145.98 billion.

GM’s shares traded down about 6.7% early Wednesday, at $36.91 in a 52-week range of $34.50 to $46.76. The 12-month price target for the shares was $49.39 before this morning’s report.