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General Motors CEO Mary Barra speaks to the news media June 12, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan.

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General Motors on Thursday reported third-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street expectations, thanks to its highly profitable trucks and SUVs in North America.

Shares of the automaker jumped 5.7% in premarket trading.

Here are the numbers:

Adjusted EPS: $2.83, vs. $1.38 expected, based on average analysts’ estimates compiled by Refinitiv

Revenue: $35.48 billion, vs. $35.51 billion expected

GM’s North American operations earned $4.37 billion in the third quarter, up 44% from a year earlier, despite U.S. sales declining 9.9% during the period. The company reported a 15% pretax profit margin for the quarter. Earnings for its international operations were in the black with pretax earnings of $10 million.

John Stapleton, GM’s interim CFO, said the automaker’s sales in the U.S. and China are “recovering faster than many people expected, and GM is benefiting from robust customer demand for our new vehicles and services, especially our full-size pickups and SUVs.”

Net income rose 74% to $4.05 billion from $2.35 billion during the third quarter of 2019.

GM repaid $5.2 billion of its revolving credit facilities during the third quarter, and an additional $3.9 billion in October. The company said it expects to repay the balance by year-end “while maintaining a strong cash balance.” GM’s automotive liquidity was above its target, ending the third quarter at $37.8 billion.

Then-CFO Dhivya Suryadevara told investors in July that the automaker expected the third quarter to be “slightly stronger” than the fourth quarter.

Suryadevara, who unexpectedly left GM for digital payments company Stripe in August, said if the monthly sales pace during the second half of the year was 14 million, investors should expect a pretax profit of $4 billion to $5 billion through the fourth quarter. In that scenario, GM expected to generate free cash flow of $7 billion to $9 billion. Suryadevara declined to release official guidance at the time, citing fluidity due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cox Automotive estimated the U.S. sales pace at 15.3 million in the third quarter, which should allow GM to outperform those projections.

GM reported an adjusted pretax profit of $3 billion, or $1.72 earnings per share, in the third quarter of 2019. Revenue was $35.47 billion.

Both Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler beat Wall Street’s expectations on better-than-expected demand for trucks and SUVs in North America. Those are segments GM has substantial market shares of as well.



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