The stock of General Motors (GM), the largest US automaker, is raging today. At 10:12 AM, GM was at $37.83, up 8.9% from the previous session’s closing price. By comparison, the S&P 500 Index (SPY) (QQQ) was down 0.5%, while Ford (F), Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), Tesla (TSLA), and Toyota (TM) were up 2.0%, up 2.5%, down 1.0%, and up 0.5%, respectively. Let’s find out what’s driving GM’s gains today.
GM updates earnings expectations
In October 2018, GM guided full-year 2018 adjusted EPS to be between $5.80 and $6.20. Today, the company said in a press release that it now expects its 2018 adjusted earnings to exceed this guidance.
In addition, General Motors also gave a solid outlook for 2019 with adjusted earnings expected to be between $6.50 and $7.00 per share. The company expects its 2019 free cash flow to be between $4.5 billion and $6 billion in 2019. In October 2018, the company gave guidance of $4 billion in free cash flow for fiscal 2018, which it expects to exceed now.
On the negative side, in its outlook report for 2019, GM warned investors saying, “GM China will remain agile in responding to shifting market dynamics, as it launches more than 20 all-new or refreshed vehicles in 2019.” Due to steep auto tariffs, US automakers including GM, Ford, and Tesla faced challenges in the Chinese market last year, especially in the second half of the year.
This update drove optimism among GM investors, resulting in the stock price rally today. GM will release fourth-quarter 2018 earnings on February 6, 2019.