General Motors (GM) has surprised Wall Street by beating both top- and bottom-line expectations in the first quarter. The automaker’s strong performance in North America helped offset losses in other regions, leading to an increase in its forecast for 2024. GM now expects adjusted earnings of $12.5 billion to $14.5 billion, with adjusted automotive free cash flow projections also on the rise. This positive news caused GM shares to jump more than 4% following the report.

During the first quarter of this year, GM reported an increase in revenue to $43.01 billion, up 7.6% from the previous year. Net income also saw a substantial rise of about 26%, reaching $2.95 billion. The company’s adjusted earnings before interest and taxes were $3.87 billion, exceeding expectations and demonstrating solid financial health.

GM attributed its first-quarter success to robust performance in North America, particularly in truck sales. The division’s adjusted earnings increased by 7.4% from the previous year to $3.84 billion, helping to offset losses in China and other international markets. Steady vehicle pricing and increased retail sales in North America contributed to a 10.6% adjusted profit margin, surpassing earlier projections for the year.

As GM continues to prioritize electric vehicle (EV) production, it highlighted the strength of its highly profitable pickups and the ramping up of EV manufacturing. The company remains committed to producing between 200,000 and 300,000 EVs in 2024, focusing on capital efficiency, profitability, and free cash flow generation to drive shareholder value.

Despite the positive financial results, GM faces challenges such as rising vehicle inventory levels in the U.S., which reached 63 days’ supply by the end of the first quarter. While this is above the company’s previous guidance, management remains optimistic about the upcoming spring and summer selling season, even with some planned factory shutdowns for retooling.

GM’s CFO, Paul Jacobson, emphasized the resilience of the consumer base and expressed confidence in the company’s ability to navigate challenges, including higher interest rates. With a focus on enhancing profitability and capital efficiency, GM aims to drive sustainable growth and shareholder value through strategic investments and operational improvements.

Overall, GM’s strong first-quarter performance, along with its raised guidance for 2024, reflects the company’s commitment to financial strength, operational excellence, and innovation in the rapidly evolving automotive industry. As GM continues to navigate market challenges and capitalize on growth opportunities, it remains poised for sustainable success and value creation for its stakeholders.

Business

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