GM, Ford could post strong 3Q profits this week – Detroit Free Press
This is earnings week for General Motors and Ford and expectations are high, with a few precautions.
GM reports third-quarter earnings on Thursday and Ford reports its results on Friday. Fiat Chrysler Automobile is to report Nov. 5.
GM is expected to do slightly better than the July-September period of 2013, mainly because it sold 2.45 million vehicles worldwide in the period, its best-third quarter since 1980. That means that total revenue should be up significantly from a $38.1 billion a year ago.
GM is expected to post earnings of 97 cents per share, according a consensus of analyst estimates compiled by FactSet. A year earlier GM earned 96 cents before special charges.
Last month Ford warned investors that its record number of launches this year is cutting into profit margins in North America and losses will be greater than anticipated in Europe at $1.2 billion. Losses are also forecast for South America. The pre-tax profit target for the year was reduced to $6 billion from previous estimates of $7 billion to $8 billion.
Wall Street thanked Ford for its transparency but the stock, which had been already falling, plummeted further to 22% from its 52-week high and some analysts have downgraded the stock. Ford shares have fallen 22% from their 52-week high, most of that just since the beginning of September.
Market expectations for Ford’s third quarter and beyond “have been largely been reset after its recent profit warning,” a Morgan Stanley report led by analyst Adam Jonas released Tuesday concludes. “This quarter, our focus is most centered on weakness in Latin America and Europe along with investors’ elevated expectations for Ford’s all-new aluminum pickup truck (which begins production by month end).”
Still, Ford is expected to show strong profits for the quarter. The consensus is Ford earnings per share of 20 cents while Morgan Stanley is less robust at 17 cents because of concerns of the disruptions as Ford switches to aluminum for its cash cow, the F-150. But Morgan Stanley forecasts revenue for the quarter at $35.2 billion or 6.1% above the consensus.
GM met with investors Oct. 1 and gave a very upbeat outlook based on its continued strength in North America and China.
The company expects to redesign or refresh nearly half its models by 2019.
This week’s results comes amid diverging analyst viewpoints on GM. For example, Morgan Stanley said GM’s stock should be valued at about $28. It is trading this week between $30 and $31.
But Citi Investors Research says it should be $48. The stock hit a 52-week low last Thursday of $28.82.
Investors will be looking for evidence that the 75 recalls GM issued this year covering about 30 million vehicles is mostly behind it. The automaker recorded a $2.5 billion charge for recall related repairs in the first half of 2014.
GM earned $567 million in the first six months of the year, down from $2.6 billion in the first half of 2013.