Why Q1 GM Earnings Were So Impressive

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) reported its first-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Wednesday. The automaker said that it had $0.62 in earnings per share (EPS) and $32.7 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates of $0.33 in EPS on $31.12 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had $1.41 in EPS and $34.88 billion in revenue.

GM sales in the United States declined about 7%, driven by the effects of the pandemic. While sales have been impacted differently across geographies, for many dealers, demand for full-size trucks remained strong. Sales of GM’s full-size pickups rose about 27% year over year, with a significant gain in retail market share. They captured 41% of combined light and heavy-duty segments in the first quarter.

In China, following the strongest sales impact in February, the industry started to pick up in March, narrowing the monthly sales decline.

When GM suspended operations, it also moved quickly to preserve its liquidity. GM ended the quarter with a strong $33.4 billion in automotive liquidity, including an approximately $16 billion drawdown from its revolving credit facilities. In addition, the company extended $3.6 billion under its three-year revolving credit agreement, and GM and GM Financial renewed their 364-day $2 billion revolver.

Mary Barra, board chair and CEO of GM, commented:

The strength of this company has always been its people, and I am proud to stand with our best as we confront these challenges together – as one team – while we continue our transformation. We have a track record of making swift, strategic and tough decisions to ensure our long-term viability and create value for all of our stakeholders.

GM stock closed Tuesday at $21.26, in a 52-week range of $14.33 to $41.90. The consensus price target is $34.18. Following the announcement, the stock was up about 6% at $22.59 in early trading indications.