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When Will the Good Outweigh the Bad at GM?

DETROIT ( TheStreet) -- A languishing share price and some high automobile inventory levels may not be the most positive indicators, but analysts remain enthusiastic about GM (GM - Get Report) and its coming product rollouts.

Next week, for example, the new Cadillac CTS sedan is likely to be among the top cars at the New York Auto Show, another sign that GM has a full stable of new vehicles to roll out and that Cadillac seems to have found itself.

Looking further ahead, the planned summer introduction of the new Silverado K2XX pickup truck will likely bring GM credit for perfect timing, given the surge in the housing market and the consequent rising demand for pickup trucks, even if S&P Capital IQ analyst Efraim Levy maintains that the new Silverado doesn't look a whole lot different than the old Silverado.

So far, GM's share price isn't reflecting the expected lift from its new U.S. models, as Europe remains a drag on its shares, which are down 4% this year, and on Ford (F - Get Report) shares, which are flat for the year.

"Wall Street is still not comfortable with the industry," said auto analyst Rebecca Lindland of Rebel Three Media. "There is still a lot of concern about exposure to Europe, and I don't think Wall Street is giving them enough credit for the cost-cutting that's gone on."

Some analysts say investors should look further into the future. Last week, Deutsche Bank analyst Rod Lache raised his full-year 2014 estimate by 10 cents to $4.15, saying in a note that "given the company's strong new product cadence, we believe that GM will still experience positive pricing through 2014." Lache has a buy on GM and a $39 price target.

A potential near-term problem is that GM inventory levels are rising, said Credit Suisse analyst Chris Ceraso in a recent note. "While GM's trucks (namely full-size pickups) have been the main focus so far this year, we think investors need to pay close attention to GM car inventories, which have ballooned since Sept. 2012," Ceraso said. He estimated passenger car stocks at an 86-day supply level, about 33% above his estimated normal level of 65 days. In particular, he said, Cruze inventories are above 90 days and inventory for Malibu, which has been reporting disappointing sales, is at 95 days.
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