GM Stock Advances on Strong April Sales Numbers

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- General Motors Co. (GM) shares are climbing 0.2% to $35.13 in market trading on Friday after the U.S. automaker reported a 5.9% rise in domestic sales during April before the opening bell today.

The Detroit-based company sold about 269,000 vehicles during the month, a 6% increase over the year ago period. Analysts at Kelley Blue Book were expecting the company to sell 263,000 vehicles while analysts at Edmunds were expecting sales of 265,000.

Much of the company's sales came from its mid-size SUV offerings with its Chevrolet Equinox SUV, seeing a 42% rise to 29,000 vehicles sold.

The company's best selling vehicle was the Chevy Silverado pickup truck whose sales rose 7.5% over the previous year to 45,978 vehicles. The company's Cadillac luxury brand rebounded from a 7% sales decline in March to see vehicle sales climb 13.7% in April.

The auto industry as a whole experienced a slight month to month decline in sales to 16.7 million vehicles from 16.9 million the March.

General Motors is a part of TheStreet's Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Cramer said that he will remain cautious about the company's outlook until it shows improvement in the international market.

"What matters to GM is Europe and Latin America and we have been trimming shares because there seems to be no improvement in Europe to speak of, and a worsening of Latin America since the time of the last quarter," said Cramer.

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 increase in net income, impressive record of earnings per share growth, notable return on equity and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

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

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Automobiles industry. The net income increased by 343.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $213.00 million to $945.00 million.
  • GENERAL MOTORS CO reported significant earnings per share improvement 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 $1.64 versus $2.35 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.62 versus $1.64).
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Automobiles industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, GENERAL MOTORS CO has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 11.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.5%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.33, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Automobiles industry. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 0.79 is weak.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: GM Ratings Report
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