GM reports better-than-expected Q4/11 earnings

Getting $7,000 the day before a long weekend. Oh, yeah!

General Motors reported better-than-expected Q4/11 earnings. The company’s ability to raise U.S. vehicle prices and better-than-expected pension returns offset weakness in the fourth quarter in Europe and South America, sending the company shares up sharply. Fourth-quarter net income was $472 million, or $0.28 a share, compared with $510 million, or $0.31 a share, in the year-ago quarter. Excluding one-time items, GM earned $0.39 a share, $0.02 below analysts' average forecast in a poll by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Earnings before interest and taxes were in line with Wall Street's expectations. For the quarter the company report total worldwide vehicle sales of 2.24 million units.

For 2012, GM expects to raise vehicle prices and hold costs in line after announcing its U.S. salaried workers would not receive an automatic pay raise. One of the key questions for GM investors has been its troubled Opel unit, a business it opted to keep in 2009 when then-CEO Ed Whitacre scotched a planned sale. In recent months, Vice Chairman Steve Girsky has taken charge of the Opel restructuring, and GM said it would detail further steps soon. The cost for the Opel restructuring was $200 million in the fourth quarter.

GM also noted that it would pay profit sharing of up to $7,000 per worker to about 47,500 hourly U.S. employees.

General Motors (GM : NYSE : US$27.17), Net Change: 2.24, % Change: 8.99%, Volume: 35,131,773

Canaccord Genuity Inc. is a global investment banking and institutional brokerage firm. Their website is www.canaccordgenuity.com.

For disclosures of any equities mentioned here please see: http://www.canaccordgenuity.com/en/ODD/pages/disclosures.aspx.

About the Author

Canaccord Genuity Inc. is a global investment banking and institutional brokerage firm. Their website is www.canaccordgenuity.com.

For disclosures of any equities mentioned here please see: http://www.canaccordgenuity.com/en/ODD/pages/disclosures.aspx.

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