GM Maintaining Pricing 'Discipline' Amid Sales Slump

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- General Motors (GM) was very generous with its discounts for its pickup trucks in the month of February. The average discount on the Chevrolet Silverado jumped more than $500 to $4,218 from January to February. The move was meant to stimulate sales in the slumping but still lucrative pickup truck sector.

While improving the discounts on the lower end, the storied auto-maker is maintaining what new GM CFO Chuck Stevens is calling "pricing discipline" on its higher end models. While overall sales are slumping, more expensive full size pickups still seem to be performing admirably.

GM and Ford's (F) full size pickups are the standard bearers for the U.S. auto industry making up two-thirds of US Automakers pretax earnings, despite only accounting for 16% of North American auto production.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates GENERAL MOTORS CO as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate GENERAL MOTORS CO (GM) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 3.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 291.54% to $3,058.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, GENERAL MOTORS CO has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 29.59%.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.85, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.85 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 34.19% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • GENERAL MOTORS CO has improved earnings per share by 5.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GENERAL MOTORS CO reported lower earnings of $2.35 versus $2.93 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.84 versus $2.35).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: GM Ratings Report

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