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GM Quarterly Earnings Rebound

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

General Motors Co. today reported a third-quarter earnings recovery on sales of high-profit trucks.

Detroit-based GM reported a quarterly profit of $4.05 billion, or $2.78 a share. That compares with earnings of $2.35 billion, or $1.60 for the same period in 2019.

The company posted adjusted earnings of $2.83 a share. That was better than average analyst estimates of $1.38, according to CNBC.

Revenue for the quarter was $35.5 billion, almost the same as the year-earlier period.

The automaker cited sales of its large pickups, SUVs and crossovers as boosting its profit. GM’s North American operations generated an operating profit of $4.37 billion. That was a 44 percent improvement from the same period in 2019.

“GM is benefiting from robust customer demand for our new vehicles and services, especially our full-size pickups and SUVs,” John Stapleton, the company’s interim chief financial officer, said in a statement.

The U.S. and China, GM’s biggest markets, “are recovering faster than many people expected,” he said.

The North American auto industry resumed operations in May after plant shutdowns intended to help slow the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.

Since then, vehicle sales have mostly recovered, though falling short of pre-pandemic levels. GM on Oct. 1 said its U.S. third-quarter deliveries were about 10 percent below year-earlier levels. At the same time, GM sales improved each month of the quarter, led by the higher-profit trucks.

Earlier this year, GM tapped credit lines to ensure it had enough cash to get through the plant shutdown period. The company said today it repaid $5.2 of its revolving credit facilities in the third quarter and another $3.9 billion in October.

The automaker is looking to profit from trucks to fund investments in electric and self-driving vehicles.

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