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GM Handily Beats Earnings Forecast, Buoyed by Truck Sales

Shares soar in pre-bell trading.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.31, 2018

GM's Renaissance Center headquarters in Detroit.

General Motors delivered a positive surprise to analysts and investors on Wednesday morning, delivering significantly stronger earnings than had been forecast, buoyed by surging demand for its light truck line-up, including the completely redesigned Chevrolet Silverado pickup.

The announcement stands in sharp contrast to rival Ford Motor Co. which, last week, reported a significant decline in third-quarter income, despite strong demand for models like its F-150.

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GM said it earned a net of $2.53 billion during the July-to-September quarter, or $1.75 a share. A year ago, it lost $2.98 billion, or $2.03 a share, though that figure largely reflected the cost of completing the sale of its European-based Opel subsidiary to France’s PSA Group.


Tesla on Top, Now Most Valuable U.S. Automaker

"It's one of the strangest things I have ever seen."

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Apr.10, 2017

Tesla CEO Musk can now afford a shirt with sleeves, as his stock soars to a new record.

Tesla is the new king-of-the-hill, after a week giving chase to long-time industry leader General Motors, the Silicon Valley upstart wound up narrowly squeaking into the lead, a nearly $51 billion market capitalization running just ahead of GM’s as trading on the New York Stock Exchange closed Monday afternoon.

Tesla had seemed poised for more than a week to take the lead, having already nudged past Ford Motor Co. earlier in the month. But Monday brought the Wall Street equivalent of a close horse race, GM and Tesla trading the lead almost by the hour. Finally, as the bell range, the EV maker had a closing stock price of $312.39, a $9.85 gain for the day, leaving it valued at $50.95 billion, while GM closed up $0.26 a share, at $33.97, with a market cap of $50.89 billion.

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The surge in Tesla’s market performance comes at a critical time for the Silicon Valley automaker, which little more than a month ago had warned its finances were “on the edge” as it continued its costly investment in the launch of the new Model 3. The midsize electric vehicle, Tesla’s first priced by the mainstream, is set to go into production in July.


Buffett, Soros Sell GM Shares – But JPMorgan Bank Calls Maker’s Stock “Very Inexpensive”

by Paul A. Eisenstein on May.16, 2014

GM's stock price has bouced a bit but largely been stuck in neutral over the past three months as the maker copes with its recall crisis.

Investors generally don’t like turmoil or uncertainty – something in abundant supply at General Motors these days, which may explain why the makers share price has been performing so poorly.

Yet even after expressing high hopes for the maker’s new CEO Mary Barra, mega-investor Warren Buffett has sold off a quarter of the GM shares held by his investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway. And he’s not alone. Other major investors, including George Soros’ Soros Fund Management, and David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital, have abandoned the maker in recent months, selling part or all of their holdings.


Yet even while cautioning that GM will be taking an earnings hit for its latest series of recalls – six separate service actions covering nearly 3 million vehicles announced this week alone – influential JPMorgan’s auto analyst may have sent the sort of positive signal other investors are looking for.

“We note the recalls are very proactive in nature,” Brinkman wrote in a report to investors. “We see GM stock as very inexpensive.”


GM Names New CFO, Restores Dividend for 1st Time Since 2008

Moves come as Mary Barra set to become maker’s first female CEO.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.15, 2014

New GM CFO Chuck Stevens.

General Motors has named Chuck Stevens as its new chief financial officer, replacing current CFO Dan Ammann, who became the Detroit maker’s new president later this week as part of a broad management shift that sees Mary Barra become the new chief executive officer.

The move was approved by the GM board of directors which also restored the maker’s divided for the first time since July 2008, at a time when it was spiraling towards bankruptcy. Stockholders will receive a 30-cent dividend per share.

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The announcements come just weeks before GM is expected to report its 16th straight quarterly profits, a string that began soon after its emergence from Chapter 11 protection with the help of a nearly $50 billion federal bailout. The U.S. Treasury last month sold off the last of its holdings in the maker – at a final loss of about $10 billion.


GM Stock Closes at All-Time High

Taxpayer loss on “Government Motors” bailout likely to dip slightly.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Dec.03, 2013

GM stock reaches a towering level - but can it hold?

Investors will be watching closely today to see if General Motors can maintain momentum after its stock closed at an all-time high on the first day of December trading – and just weeks before the federal government plans to sell off the last of the shares taken in return for GM’s $50 billion bailout in 2009.

GM stock closed Monday at $39.11, the highest figure since the “new” General Motors was formed in 2009 following the maker’s emergence from Chapter 11 protection.  Shares briefly climbed as high as $39.39 during the day.  The maker’s previous closing record was $38.98 on January 7, 2011.

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GM shares subsequently took a sharp tumble, dipping down into the mid-teens during the summer of 2011. Its 52-week low, meanwhile, was $24.40.  The automaker’s stock has been rebounding this year at a rate notably faster than the overall turnaround of the Dow Jones Industrial Average – which has itself been in record territory in recent weeks, nudging up as high as $16,174.51.


Buffett Boosts GM Holdings by 60%

Legendary investor rushes in as Treasury continues stock sell-off.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Aug.16, 2013

Warren Buffett just increased his GM stock holdings by 60% to 40 million shares.

Even as – and perhaps because of – the U.S. Treasury continues selling down its remaining stake in General Motors, billionaire investment guru Warren Buffett is rapidly increasing his own holdings in General Motors.

According to a federal filing, Buffett’s investment arm Berkshire Hathaway has increased its holdings in the giant Detroit maker by 60%. He now has 40 million shares, or 2.9% of GM’s outstanding stock.

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That news came just days after Treasury officials advised Congress they has sold off around 25 million more shares in GM for a total sale of $876.9 million. The federal government now holds just 136 million shares, a little more than a quarter of the 500-million-share stake it gained after the maker’s 2009 bankruptcy, in return for a $49.5 billion bailout. (more…)

GM May Buy Back More Stock, Revive Dividend

“We’re getting stronger,” CEO Akerson declares.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jun.07, 2013

GM's headquarters at the Detroit Renaissance Center.

General Motors investors have had a lot to celebrate in recent weeks watching the maker’s shares surge, the stock rejoining the influential S&P 500 – and now, with Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson suggesting the maker might be ready to restore the GM dividend for the first time since 2008.

Akerson also is weighing the possibility of buying back more GM shares, a move that could further drive up a stock that has nearly doubled since hitting a low point last July.

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But, “First and foremost we must continue to invest in this company so we don’t lose the competitive edge that we have today,” Akerson told stockholders meeting in Detroit, an event where he declared the company’s bailout and revival a success.


Treasury Rushing to Sell Off More GM Stock

Maker’s shares gets a bump as it prepares to rejoin S&P 500.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jun.05, 2013

GM stock is showing strong momentum after being in the doldrums most of 2012.

While the Treasury Department’s self-imposed deadline to dump its remaining General Motors stock is still nearly a year away, the government plans to benefit from rising prices by putting another 30 million shares on the block this month.

The announcement comes a day after word came that General Motors will rejoin the closely watched S&P 500 stock index for the first time since it filed for bankruptcy in 2009. The maker’s shares have been surging in recent weeks and are now trading above GM’s November 2010 IPO price of $33 a share.

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The government isn’t alone in seizing a potential opportunity. Another 20 million GM shares will be sold by the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust. Commonly known as a VEBA, it received stock in the wake of the maker’s 2009 bankruptcy.