GM posted better-than-expected profit for the first quarter, mainly due to strong sales growth particularly in the United States and China, and “breakeven performance” in Europe.
The Detroit-based automaker said on Thursday that first-quarter net income more than doubled to $2 billion, or $1.24 a share. Earnings per share adjusted for special items was a first-quarter record at $1.26, up 47% compared with the first quarter of 2015. The bottom line result was well ahead of analysts’ expectations of $1 per share, according to Reuters.
“We’re growing where it counts, gaining retail share in the [United States], outpacing the industry in Europe, and capitalizing on robust growth in SUV and luxury segments in China,” GM’s chairman and chief executive Mary Barra said in a press release.
“This strong quarter also reflects the excellent progress we’re making to improve results in our more challenged global markets. Importantly, the continued success of our core business is enabling us to invest in advanced technology and innovations that will help shape the future of personal mobility.”
The automaker’s shares were up 1.2% to $32.58 on Thursday afternoon.
Barra “has stepped up efforts to persuade skeptical investors that GM can deliver consistently strong profits — and return billions to shareholders — through the ups and downs of the industry’s sales cycles,” Reuters wrote.
GM said it still expected full-year earnings of between $5.25 and $5.75 a share, excluding special items, up from $5.02 in 2015.