Earnings Sag at General Motors - TheStreet

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

, the world's largest automaker, said earnings for the second quarter declined from a year ago, while revenue was essentially unchanged from 2002, but financing operations again proved to be a bright spot for the company.

The company earned $901 million, or $1.58 a share, compared with $1.3 billion, or $2.43 a share, in the second quarter last year. Revenue ticked down slightly to $48.31 billion from $48.34 billion in the 2002 second quarter.

GM's adjusted income, which excludes the results from

Hughes Electronics

(GMH)

, totaled $879 million, or $1.57 a share, in the second quarter. Adjusted earnings last year came to $1.5 billion, or $2.63 a share, excluding Hughes and unusual items.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting $1.19 a share.

General Motors Acceptance Corp. earned $834 million in the second quarter vs. $431 million last year.

GM's mortgage operations had a profit of $415 million in the second quarter of 2003, up $357 million from the year-ago period, while earnings from financing operations were $396 million, up $49 million from last year.

The company's global automotive operations earned $140 million in the second quarter, down from $1.1 billion in the prior year. Global production declined 6.6% in the second quarter from the same period in 2002. GM's U.S. market share was 27.9%, down from 28.1% a year ago, but up from 26.6% in the first quarter this year.

GM expects improving economic growth in the U.S. for the rest of 2003, with total domestic industrywide vehicle sales of at least 16.5 million units for the year. In Europe, especially Germany, the company expects economic and market conditions to remain challenging in the second half of the year. GM estimated total European industry vehicle sales at about 18.5 million units for the year.

The company said it should beat analysts' consensus third-quarter earnings estimate of roughly 50 cents a share, excluding Hughes and any special items. Automotive operations are expected to be profitable.

Despite the continuing economic uncertainty, GM is more optimistic about the rest of the year. The company said it now believes full-year earnings could range from $4.50 up to $5 a share, excluding Hughes and any items.

Currently, the consensus full-year forecast is $4.36, according to Thomson First Call.