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GM Profit Falls on UAW Strike

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

General Motors Co. posted a lower third-quarter profit because of the 40-day United Auto Workers union strike against the company.

GM’s quarterly profit totaled $2.3 billion, or $1.60 a share, down from $2.5 billion, or $1.75, for the same period in 2018.

Detroit-based GM’s adjusted profit fell 5.9 percent compared with a year earlier to $3 billion. Company revenue declined 0.9 percent to $35.5 billion.  

Members of the Detroit-based UAW walked off the job in mid-September while negotiating a new four-year labor agreement. The automaker and UAW reached an accord earlier this month and union members completed ratification last week.

Under terms of the ratified contract, union members will receive an $11,000 signing bonus, two annual 3 percent raises and two 4 percent lump-sum payments.

GM estimated the strike reduced its pretax North American profit $1 billion during the second half of September. The company said the strike will have a full-year hit of $2 a share, or about $3 billion.

Despite the strike, North America was GM’s main source of pretax profit with $3 billion. That was an improvement from $2.8 billion a year earlier. The automaker said large pickups, its most profitable line of vehicles, recorded improved sales during the quarter.

The company also said it expects lower spending for capital expenditures. That, combined with the strike, spurred GM to revise its financial forecast for the year.

GM said it now expects profit of $4.28 to $4.69 a share. The company also cut its adjusted profit forecast, the figure watched by investors, to $4.50 to $4.80 a share. That’s down from a previous forecast of $6.50 to $7 a share, according to Reuters.

 

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