NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- When it's time to buy a new car I'm like most consumers, I want the most for my money which is another way of saying that I want my money's worth.So I shopped and did a careful search. In my best version of an "orange-to-orange" fair market comparison I settled on a car manufactured by the Buick division of GeneralMotors ( GM) . Dollar-for-dollar I felt the irresistible urge to purchase a Buick La Crosse and I've been happy with my choice ever since. To see what it looks like here's a photo that speaks for itself . When I'm driving my Buick I'm reminded that this isn't the old GM I've purchased but the new one. I also own an older Park Avenue model that I've driven for years so you might say I'm a "veteran." Even the company calls itself "the New General Motors" and you can see the determination and the wave of passion GM is riding when you visit its web site. GM has recreated itself with a lofty vision to build and sell the best quality autos in the world. The company currently builds and sells nearly 10 million vehicles worldwide. Amazingly, its No. 1 market is China, not the U.S. which is No. 2. GM's trailing 12 month revenue is nearly $153 billion. In the most recent quarter ending June 30 its total cash tallied close to $26 billion. This is almost as much as the $26.75 billion total debt it has on its books. GM's balance sheet is looking healthier with every passing year since that ominous moment in 2008 when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The U.S government bought up a large percentage of GM stock early on thus enabling the company to reorganize. It did so in late 2010 and has been determined to buy back shares from Uncle Sam. As of last count the federal government still owns around 16% of the outstanding shares. That's great news for the United Auto Workers Retiree Medical Benefits Trust which owns more than 140 million shares.
It faces some stiff competition in the quarters ahead in improving its EPS and revenue-per-share. Yet shares of GM have a price-to-earnings-to-growth (PEG) ratio (5-year expected) of only 0.68. This suggests that the stock price isn't overvalued and may still be considered a bargain. GM has worked hard to be a leader in its industry and it claims to know the definition of success. GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson says it best, "We win when the customer says we win." At the new GM, the company has made a strong and open commitment to its customers, employees, partners and stakeholders. Its "five principles that guide us in everything we do":
- Safety and Quality First
- Create Lifelong Customers
- Deliver Long-Term Investment Value
- Make a Positive Difference
Our 212,000 plus employees work in 396 facilities touching six continents; they speak more than 50 languages and touch 23 time zones.With that attitude toward customers and employees GM's immediate future looks solid and shines bright. As long as it holds to the five principles that it claims guides them "in everything we do" the future may include the greatest accomplishments in its 105-year old history.
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