GM reported last night a $39 billion (yes, that's "billion" with a "b") loss or $68.85 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2007, compared with a reported net loss of $147 million, or $.26 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. The majority of that number was due to special charges of $37.4 billion related largely to a previously announced valuation allowance against its deferred tax assets. But, regardless of the one-time charge, the General showed some serious losses in the third-quarter totaling an adjusted net loss of $1.6 billion, or $2.80 per diluted share, compared to the net income of $497 million, or $0.88 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. What caused the variance? It seems it's coming primarily from a serious drop in income at GMAC, as well as what GM's calling "increased corporate expense related to legacy cost, foreign exchange and various 2006 tax benefits..." but they claim we shouldn't worry because it's "partially offset by improved performance in automotive operations." Well, umm, that's good it's "partially offset." We'll have more on the big write-down later — but first we have to find a way to, as one tipster asked this morning, "explain it in terms a six-year-old can understand." Full press release from the General after the jump.
GM Reports Third Quarter Financial Results
Record third quarter automotive revenue of $43.1 billion
Improved automotive operations on continued strength in emerging markets
Ongoing challenges in U.S. mortgage market adversely impact GM income from GMAC
$39 billion reported loss driven by $39 billion valuation allowance on deferred tax assets
Improved liquidity position of $30 billion
DETROIT - General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM) today announced its financial results for the third quarter of 2007, marked by record global sales, further improvement in its core automotive business driven by solid financial performance in key growth markets around the world and improved liquidity.
"We continue to implement the key elements of our North America turnaround strategy, and these initiatives are driving steady improvement in our financial results, despite challenging North America market conditions. In addition, we are very encouraged by our performance in emerging markets. Our record third quarter global sales are strong evidence that our commitment to great cars and trucks is being embraced by consumers around the globe." said Rick Wagoner, GM chairman and chief executive officer.
The company's improved performance in its automotive operations was more than offset by special charges of $37.4 billion related largely to a previously announced valuation allowance against its deferred tax assets, as well as lower reported GMAC Financial Services income, down $630 million versus the year-ago quarter as a result of continued pressures in the mortgage industry.
GM reported a net loss of $39 billion (including Allison Transmission, which is classified as a discontinued operation), or $68.85 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2007, compared with a reported net loss of $147 million, or $.26 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.
Special items included a net non-cash charge of $38.6 billion due to a valuation allowance against deferred tax assets related to operations in the U.S., Canada and Germany as required under SFAS No. 109, Accounting for Income Taxes. Also included was a favorable $3.5 billion after-tax gain on the sale of the Allison Transmission business in August 2007, for which GM received $5.4 billion in proceeds. GM also had special charges of $1.6 billion in pension service costs related to prior labor agreements, $0.4 billion associated with restructuring actions and $0.4 billion related to an adjustment to the Delphi reserve. Details on all of the special charges are included in the "Highlights" section of this news release.
Excluding special items, GM had a 2007 third-quarter adjusted net loss of $1.6 billion, or $2.80 per diluted share, compared to net income of $497 million, or $.88 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. The variance was driven primarily by a significant decline in net income at GMAC, as well as increased corporate expense related to legacy cost, foreign exchange and various 2006 tax benefits, partially offset by improved performance in automotive operations.
GM Automotive Operations
GM's global automotive operations posted net income of $122 million from continuing operations on an adjusted basis in the third quarter of 2007 (reported net loss of $40.6 billion), an improvement of $577 million compared to an adjusted net loss from continuing operations of $455 million (reported net loss of $401 million) in the same quarter 2006. Results for GM's automotive operations, specifically GMNA, exclude Allison Transmission, which was classified as a discontinued operation as a result of the sale of that business which was concluded in August 2007.
GM generated record third quarter automotive revenue of $43.1 billion. The company also achieved record global third quarter sales of 2.39 million cars and trucks, up four percent compared to the third quarter 2006, driven by exceptionally strong demand in emerging markets and improved performance in developed markets. GM also set a number of third quarter sales records around the globe, including a 22 percent increase in GMLAAM, 16 percent increase in the GMAP region, and 15 percent gain in GME.
"We continue to see solid progress in the fundamentals of our automotive business. We're very pleased with our strong sales performance in key markets outside of North America, and growing retail momentum in the U.S. driven by products like the all-new Cadillac CTS. We're also very encouraged by the early reactions to our all-new Chevrolet Malibu and 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon two-mode hybrids - the world's only full-size hybrid SUVs," said Wagoner.
GMNA had an adjusted net loss from continuing operations of $247 million in the third quarter 2007 (reported net loss from continuing operations of $38.2 billion, which includes charges of approximately $36.5 billion for a valuation allowance against its deferred tax assets and $1.3 billion for pension service costs related to prior labor agreements), compared to an adjusted net loss of $660 million from continuing operations in the third quarter 2006 (reported net loss from continuing operations of $667 million). GMNA's improved adjusted earnings reflect favorable mix, pricing and better warranty performance, which were partially offset by lower volume and increased material cost.
GME posted an adjusted net loss of $90 million in the third quarter (reported net loss of $2.9 billion, which includes charges of $2.5 billion for a valuation allowance against deferred tax assets in Germany and restructuring charges of $262 million), compared to $39 million loss in the third quarter of 2006 (reported net loss of $126 million). The variance in adjusted net income reflects the softness of the German market and unfavorable currency exchange, which was partially offset by improved pricing and higher volume.
GME achieved record third quarter sales of about 524,000 units, aided by continued momentum of GME's multi-brand strategy during the period. Chevrolet is amongst the fastest growing global vehicle brands in Europe, posting record third quarter sales of 113,000 vehicles. GM gained further ground in the growing Russian market, with sales up by 75 percent over the same quarter 2006, to a record 65,700 vehicles.
GMAP recorded adjusted net income of $138 million in the third quarter (reported net income also $138 million), compared with $57 million in the year ago period (reported net income of $205 million, which included $148 million in favorable tax-related items). This favorable earnings performance was driven largely by strong export growth from GM Daewoo, continued strong sales and profitability in China, and improved earnings in India and Australia.
GM achieved 16 percent sales growth in the Asia Pacific region, resulting in record third quarter sales of 327,500 units. GM China sold 230,000 vehicles, a 21 percent increase compared with the year ago period. GM sales in the region were also aided by the strong performance of GM Daewoo products, including the Chevrolet Captiva.
GMLAAM achieved all-time record earnings and quarterly sales in the third quarter, posting adjusted earnings of $340 million (reported net income also $340 million), up 86 percent compared with strong earnings in the year ago period of $183 million (reported net income also $183 million). The earnings improvement was driven primarily by volume growth, favorable pricing and vehicle mix.
GMLAAM set a third quarter sales record of over 329,000 vehicles, up almost 22 percent year-over-year. All-time sales records were achieved in Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina and Egypt. The successful launch of the Chevrolet Captiva in South Africa, Venezuela, Colombia and the Middle East helped drive strong sales in the region.
As a standalone company, GMAC Financial Services reported a net loss of $1.6 billion for the third quarter 2007, compared to a net loss of $173 million in the third quarter 2006. The reported results for the third quarter of 2007 included a $455 million goodwill impairment charge at Residential Capital, LLC (ResCap), while a goodwill impairment charge of $695 million related to GMAC Commercial Finance was reflected in results for the third quarter of 2006.
Results were dominated by the effects of the dislocation in the mortgage and credit markets on the real estate finance business, which more than offset the continued strong performance at GMAC's automotive finance, insurance and other operations.
GM recognized $757 million of the net loss attributable to GMAC as a result of its 49 percent equity interest and accrued preferred dividends (reported net loss of $803 million).
Cash and Liquidity
GM continues to have a strong liquidity position. Cash, marketable securities, and readily-available assets of the Voluntary Employees' Beneficiary Association (VEBA) trust grew to $30 billion as of September 30, 2007, up from $27.2 billion on June 30, 2007. The balance includes $5.4 billion of net cash proceeds from the completion of the Allison Transmission transaction in August 2007.
GM had negative adjusted automotive operating cash flow of $2.5 billion in the third quarter of 2007, improved from a negative $3.9 billion in the third quarter 2006.
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In this press release and in related comments by General Motors' management our use of words like "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "forecast," "initiative," "objective," "plan," "goal," "project," "outlook," "priorities," "target," "intend," "evaluate," "pursue," "seek," "may," "would," "could," "should," "believe," "potential," "continue," "designed," "impact," or the negative of any of those words or similar expressions is intended to identify forward-looking statements that represent our current judgment about possible future events. We believe these judgments are reasonable, but GM's actual results may differ materially due to a variety of important factors. Among other items, such factors include: the ability of GM to realize production efficiencies, to achieve reductions in costs as a result of the turnaround restructuring and health care cost reductions and to implement capital expenditures at levels and times planned by management; the pace of product introductions; market acceptance of our new products; significant changes in the competitive environment and the effect of competition in our markets, including on our pricing policies; our ability to maintain adequate liquidity and financing sources and an appropriate level of debt; changes in the existing, or the adoption of new laws, regulations, policies, or other activities of governments, agencies, and similar organizations where such actions may affect the production, licensing, distribution, or sale of our products, the cost thereof or applicable tax rates; costs and risks associated with litigation; the final results of investigations and inquiries by the SEC and other governmental agencies; changes in accounting principles, or their application or interpretation, and our ability to make estimates and the assumptions underlying the estimates, including the range of estimates for the Delphi pension benefit guarantees, which could result in an impact on earnings; negotiations and bankruptcy court actions with respect to Delphi's obligations to GM, negotiations with respect to GM's obligations under the pension benefit guarantees to Delphi employees, and GM's ability to recover any indemnity claims against Delphi; labor strikes or work stoppages at GM or its key suppliers such as Delphi or financial difficulties at GM's key suppliers such as Delphi; completion of the final settlement with the UAW and UAW retirees, including securing class certification in a form acceptable to GM, the UAW and class counsel; completion of the final settlement with the UAW and UAW retirees, including obtaining court approval in a form acceptable to GM, the UAW, and class counsel; treatment of the terms of the 2006 Settlement Agreement pursuant to the Retiree MOU in a manner acceptable to GM, the UAW and class counsel; GM's completion of discussions with the Staff of the SEC regarding accounting treatment with respect to the New VEBA and the post-retirement medical benefits for the covered group as set forth in the Retiree MOU, on a basis reasonably satisfactory to GM; shortages of and price increases for fuel; factors affecting GMAC's results of operations and financial conditions and changes in the residential mortgage market, especially in the nonprime sector; significant changes in the competitive environment and the effect of competition in GMAC's markets, including on GMAC's pricing policies; GMAC's ability to maintain adequate financing sources; GMAC's ability to maintain an appropriate level of debt; restrictions on the ability of GMAC's residential mortgage subsidiary to pay dividends and prepay subordinated debt obligations to GMAC; changes in the residual value of off-lease vehicles; changes in U.S. government-sponsored mortgage programs or disruptions in the markets in which GMAC's mortgage subsidiaries operate; changes in GMAC's contractual servicing rights; changes in the credit ratings of GMAC or GM; and changes in economic conditions, commodity prices, currency exchange rates, or political stability in the markets in which we or GMAC operate. The most recent annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K filed by GM and GMAC provide information about these factors, which may be revised or supplemented in future reports to the SEC on those forms.