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GM crushes earnings estimates
Top automaker also sees strong U.S. sales for the industry this year.
CNBC Market Dispatches

Investors are taking some comfort in continued earnings strength as more big-name companies beat consensus estimates. Stocks kicked off the day higher.

Corporate profits dominated the headlines with a spate of companies reporting, but the economy will vie for attention later today when Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan speaks on the banking industry before a Senate committee, starting at about 2:30 ET.

GM, the world?s top auto maker, cruised past expectations with a profit of $2.25 per share, 47 cents per share better than the Street was expecting. Profit fell from the year-earlier period when GM recorded a large one-time gain form the sale of its defense unit. Revenues edged up 3.1% to $47.78 billion, well ahead of the Street forecast for $38.97 billion.

GM also said it expects second-quarter profit to be higher than it earlier projected, pointing to a strengthening U.S. market. GM said it expects the entire auto industry's vehicles sales to total 17.3 million units in 2004.


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Stocks Rise, GM Earnings Boost Dow
Tuesday April 20, 10:49 am ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday morning as investors cheered strong quarterly earnings reports led by carmaker General Motors.

In earnings news, GM helped prop up blue chips as it reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings on record results from its finance wing and improved results from its Asian automotive operations. It also raised its earnings outlook for the year. GM shares rose $1.85, or about 4 percent, to $48 on the New York Stock Exchange (News - Websites) . It was the biggest percentage gainer on the Dow.

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