Detroit's top automakers took a hit in trading Wednesday as sales results from the third quarter failed to impress investors on a day when the major markets dropped nearly 2%.
General Motors (GM) - Get Report shares fell about 4%, while Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) - Get Report shares declined about 2% and Ford (F) - Get Report shares fell more than 3%. Meanwhile, all three major indices also dropped about 1.5% Wednesday.
General Motors reported that third-quarter sales rose 6.3% from a year earlier to 738,638 vehicles, led by the GMC and Buick brands. However, the company is still in the midst of a worker strike that is now entering its third week.
Meanwhile, Ford reported third-quarter car sales fell 4.9%, better than analysts' consensus estimate of a 6.1% decline.
The Dearborn, Mich., vehicle major's truck segment was the lone unit to increase sales in the quarter, up 8.8% to 309,920.
Meanwhile, its SUV segment saw an 11% decline to 193,100 vehicles, and car sales fell 30% to 77,231 vehicles.
Fiat Chrysler reported a slight uptick in overall third-quarter sales thanks to record volume in three of its brands.
The Auburn Hills, Mich., company sold 565,034 vehicles in the quarter, slightly ahead of the 564,507 it sold a year earlier.
Fiat Chrysler's Jeep Wrangler brand reported third-quarter sales of 59,035, a record for a Q3, while its Ram truck brand saw a 15% increase to a record third-quarter 179,200 vehicles sold.
Meantime, CFRA analyst Garrett Nelson reiterated GM a sell and cut his 12-month price target by $3 to $32.
The CFRA analyst said the 6.3% rise in sales at GM was short of the consensus estimate of 7.8%.
Nelson said he expected the company and union to come to terms in the next couple of weeks. Last Friday, the analyst said, "UAW workers missed their first paycheck since the strike began" and "GM's losses from lost production are mounting."
A parts shortage "could escalate pressure from dealerships unable to complete repairs in their highly profitable parts-and-service operations," Nelson said. "New-vehicle inventories are still ample."