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Analyst on General Motor’s Q4 results: ‘it wasn’t negative at all’

By:
on Feb 1, 2022
Updated: Feb 2, 2022
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  • General Motors' Q4 sales missed estimates due to supply constraints.
  • CEO Mary Barra expects up to $15 billion in operating profit this year.
  • Shares of the automaker are down over 15% from their recent high.

General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) reported better-than-expected earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter on Tuesday, but sales came in shy of estimates due to supply constraints.

After initial volatility in after-hours, the stock stabilised at nearly the same price at which it closed the regular session. On CNBC’s “Closing Bell”, Benchmark’s Michael Ward said:

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I don’t think the earnings report was negative at all. To me the most important variable was how much cash they have, what did their balance sheet look like. GM ended the year with $7.7 billion in net cash. They generated $2.0 billion a month in surplus cash in Q4. Nothing negative about that.

Q4 financial performance

General Motors earned $1.70 billion in Q4 or $1.16 per share. This compares to a much higher $2.8 billion in earnings or $1.93 per share it recorded last year in the same quarter. Adjusted for nonrecurring items, the legacy automaker earned $1.35 a share.

GM valued its quarterly sales at $33.6 billion versus the year-ago figure of $37.5 billion, as per the earnings press release. The FactSet consensus was for $1.16 of adjusted EPS on $35.8 billion in sales.

The earnings report comes only days after Jim Cramer said General Motors was fairly inexpensive to own after a significant hit to the stock price in January. GM is still down more than 15% from its recent high.

Guidance for the full year

On the plus side, CEO Mary Barra expects semiconductor shortage to ease in 2022. She’s now calling for up to $15 billion in operating profit this year – in line with analysts’ forecasts. In a letter to shareholders, she wrote:

With an improving outlook for semiconductors, we expect our 2022 results will remain strong, with EBIT-adjusted earnings at or near record levels, all while investing more YoY in our growth businesses like Cruise, BrightDrop and our rapidly accelerating portfolio of electric vehicles.

Also on Tuesday, General Motors partnered with Consumers Energy to power Michigan automotive plants with clean energy. GM trades at a PE multiple of 7.23.