Skip to main content

GM Tops Q4 Profit Forecast, Says 2019 Strike Action Cost $3.6 Billion

General Motors said last year's United Autoworkers strike reduced its quarterly earnings by around $3.6 billion.

General Motors Co.  (GM) - Get Free Report posted stronger-than-expected fourth quarter earnings Wednesday but said costs linked to last year's strike totaled $3.6 billion. 

GM said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in December came in at 5 cents per share, four cents ahead of the Street consensus forecast. The figure isn't directly comparable to last year, however, given the $1.39 per share charge the group had to book for costs linked to last year's forty-day strike by GM members of the United Autoworkers Union. Group revenues, GM, said, fell 20% to $30.8 million, just shy of the Street consensus forecast of $31.1 billion

Looking into 2020, GM said it sees adjusted earnings in the region of $5.75 to $6.25 per share, compared to a Refnitiv forecast of $6.23 per share, and operating cash flow in the region of $13 billion to $14.5 billion. 

"We continue to transform this company for the future. GM is positioned for strong, long-term business results with a focus on sustainability, and we are confdent that our EV and AV strategies will drive shareholder value while improving the environment," said CEO Mary Barra.

GM shares were marked 2.6% higher in early trading following the earnings release to change hands at $35.26 each.

GM's main U.S. rival, Ford Motor Co. F, posted weaker-than-expected fourth quarter earnings late Tuesday, and also issued disappointing 2020 guidance, as legacy carmakers continue to struggle with rising emissions costs, weakening demand and the coronavirus outbreak in China.

Ford said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in December were pegged at 12 cents per share, down 60% from the same period last year and 3 cents shy of the Street consensus forecast. Group automotive revenues also missed analysts' estimates, falling 5.2% to $36.7 billion thanks in part to lower sales volumes in each of the carmaker's global regions.

Ford shares were marked 8.8% lower at $8.36 each, a move that would erase all of the stock's gains over the past twelve months.