General Motors Reports Better-Than-Expected Fourth-Quarter Results as Pricing Hits Record High

10:07 AM, Feb 6, 2019 — General Motors (GM) reported fourth-quarter results that came in ahead of expectations on Wednesday as the car maker benefited from “strong pricing” for new pickup trucks and a record high in transaction prices.

Revenue rose 1.8% year-on-year to $38.4 billion, well ahead of the consensus on Capital IQ for $36.3 billion. Adjusted earnings fell to $1.43 a share from $1.65 a year ago, but that was still better than expectations on Wall Street for $1.21 a share.

“Fourth quarter results were led by strong performance in GM North America, driven by a rich vehicle mix and strong pricing for GM’s all-new full-size pickup trucks: the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra,” the automaker said in a statement.

In 2018, average transaction prices hit a record high of almost $36,000 and incentives as a percent of the prices fell 0.3% year-on-year, GM said. Combined Silverado and Colorado sales, as well as the Sierra and GMC Canyon, rose 3% annually. On the year, total sales and revenue rose to $147 billion from $145.6 billion in 2017, the company said.

GM North America’s net sales and revenue rose to $29.8 billion in the three months ended Dec. 31 from $28.8 billion a year earlier. GM International fell to $4.96 billion from$5.69 billion in the same period of 2017.

Total vehicle sales, including dealership purchases, fleet sales and cars used by dealers such as courtesy vehicles, fell to 2.24 million in the quarter from 2.59 million a year earlier. In the US, Chevrolet sold more crossovers, while trucks and cars decreased. Cadillac and Buick brands also saw slower sales, while GMC rose to 160,000 from 155,000 a year earlier.

In the quarter, GM announced plans shut three assembly plans and five propulsion facilities to “increase capacity utilization.” Wall Street cheered the Nov. 26 announcement, sending the shares to a three-month high that day. On Wednesday, GM said about “950 hourly employees have been placed into US plants with products in key growth segments.”

Chief Executive Mary Barra said in the statement that GM will “continue to make bold decisions to lead the transformation of this industry and drive significant shareholder value.”

Companies: General Motors Company
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