GM Hits a Record $6.3B Profit – Easily Beating the Consensus Estimate

Posted by at 1:26 pm on February 3, 2016

GM LogoRecord profits of $6.3 billion for the fourth quarter and $9.7 billion for 2015, generated $11,000 profit-sharing checks for General Motors’ nearly 50,000 UAW, but GM stock continued to slide Wednesday.

The fourth-quarter earnings were helped by a $3.2 billion one-time accounting credit and were more than five times the $1.1 billion net income the company reported in 2014’s fourth quarter.

On a per share basis, GM made $1.39 for the fourth-quarter, easily beating the $1.21 per share consensus estimate of 15 analysts.

Last month GM raised its estimate for 2016 earnings to between $5.25 and $5.75 per share, increased its quarterly dividend from 36 to 38 cents and told investors it would expand a stock repurchase program from $5 billion to $9 billion through the end of 2017.

The automaker lost $47 million in South America, while its international operations, which includes its joint ventures in China, made $408 million in the last three months of 2015.

Wall Street focuses on profit margins and GM’s goal is to earn 10% of its sales globally by the end of the decade. For the fourth-quarter the company’s profit margin in North America was exactly 10% and 10.3% for all of 2016.

The profit margin for GM’s joint ventures in China was 8.6% in the fourth quarter and 9.5% for the full year.

Stevens said GM has 100,000 fewer vehicles in its U.S. inventories than it held at the end of 2014, partly reflecting the gradual production ramp-up of such new models as the Chevrolet Malibu, Cruze and Volt, Buick Cascada and Cadillac CT6 and XT5.

GM shares dropped another 2.5% to $28.92 at the close of trading Wednesday. So far this year they are down 15%.

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