General Motors Co. (GM) posted stronger-than-expected fourth quarter earnings Wednesday and confirmed its full-year profit outlook as higher-margin truck sales in the United States offset significant weakness in key China markets.
General Motors said earnings for the three months ending in December came in at $1.43 per share, down 13.3% from the same period last year but ahead of the Street consensus of $1.24 per share. Group revenues were pegged at $38.4 billion, a 1.8% increased that beat the analyst consensus of $36 billion. The company also confirmed its full-year adjusted earnings range of between $6.50 and $6.70 per share, and said free cash flow from its core car business could come in between $4.5 billion and $6 billion.
"GM delivered another strong year of earnings in a highly volatile environment in 2018," said CEO Mary Berra. "We will continue to make bold decisions to lead the transformation of this industry and drive significant shareholder value."
GM shares rose 1.55% on Wednesday.
GM's North American division earned the lion's share of the company's fourth quarter bottom line, with net income rising 5.8% to just over $3 billion as truck sales increased and margins improved thanks to what CFO Dhivya Suryadevara called a "laser focus on costs".
"We navigated significant headwinds in 2018 to deliver another year of strong results, demonstrating the earnings resiliency of this company," she said. "The actions we've been taking to shape a stronger, more proftable portfolio of businesses position GM for long-term success."