General Motors Co.'s pre-tax earnings were $2.3 billion in the first quarter of 2019, down 11.5% from the same quarter last year, amid restructuring activities and softer sales
The Detroit automaker reported pre-tax earnings per share of $1.41, down 1.4%. It made $2.1 billion on $34.9 billion in revenue after taxes.
"We're making progress on our business transformation," GM Chief Financial Officer Dhivya Suryadevara said in a statement Tuesday. "We expect our global product mix, launch cadence and cost efficiencies to drive earnings growth throughout the year."
GM profit margins of 6.6% were down 0.6 percentage points from the first quarter of 2018. The company's automotive free cash-flow depleted to negative $3.9 billion, down $600 million from a year ago. GM said it had expected the cash flow hit this quarter and still expects to end the year with up to $6 billion in automotive free cash.
GM made $1.9 billion in North America in the first quarter, down $300 million. The dip was driven largely by planned downtime for full-size SUV production as the automaker switched to new models, GM said in its statement. The automaker's U.S. vehicle sales fell 7 percent in the first quarter while global sales fell 10.4%.
"This quarter has been a bit of a choppy start to 2019 for GM as the company saw year-over-year declines across all of its brands," Jeremy Acevedo, an automotive analyst for Edmunds, said ahead of GM's earnings release. "GM is dealing with transitional pains as it phases out some of its cars, and the slow ramp-up of the Silverado is taking a bite out of the company's pickup truck sales. The good news is that GM has done a better job of reining in incentives this quarter compared to last year, and the company's prospects for the remainder of 2019 seem a bit brighter."