General Motors ( GM) said analysts' consensus forecast for the second quarter is "reasonable and consistent" with the company's own expectations. Wall Street is calling for a profit of $1.15 a share from the automaker, acccording to Thomson First Call, and the company didn't express any reservations about the number. GM said the analysts' consensus estimate, which excludes Hughes Electronics ( GMH) and special items, is consistent with its previous guidance of more than $1 a share for the quarter. The previous mean estimate from analysts was $1.20, and that was the number GM referenced in its statement. For the full year, GM
again said that its ability to achieve its earnings target of $5 a share remains uncertain considering the intense pricing pressure the U.S. automakers are putting on each other. GM North America is expected to fall short of its initial net income target for 2003. However, General Motors Acceptance Corp., the company's finance arm, is exceeding expectations and is now forecasting earnings of more than $2 billion. "We are continuing to work toward our aggressive target of $10 earnings per share by middecade," GM Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer John Devine said in a press release. "Although it appears that this goal is becoming more difficult to achieve, we are looking at a variety of opportunities that will help us reach this target. Earnings of $10 per share by middecade remains the goal." Shares of GM were up 58 cents to $35.88 in recent New York Stock Exchange trading. Rivals Ford ( F) and DaimlerChrysler ( DCX) were each gaining more than 2%.