Q1 Preview: General Motors (GM) Looks to Electric Sales to Drive Results


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Investors are selling shares of General Motors ( GM ) Wednesday afternoon ahead of the automaker's quarterly earnings report, expected out before the opening bell rings Thursday. The stock last traded at $32.87, down 0.36 percent for the session.

Wall Street is currently looking for GM to issue third-quarter earnings of $0.93 per share on sales of $35.59 billion. Last quarter, the Detroit, MI-based automaker posted EPS of $0.31 on revs of $36.9 billion. Going back a year to the first quarter of 2010, GM saw pro-forma EPS of $1.66 on revenue of $31.5 billion.

GM's stock tumbled more than 16 percent over the last quarter and is up 6 percent since.

Shares currently trade at a P/E of 6.5x FY12 EPS estimates, compared with 7.5x at Ford Motor ( F ) and 33.9x for Toyota Motor (NYSE: TM).

Data from Bloomberg has 15 analysts with a Buy on General Motors, 5 with a Hold, and none suggesting to Sell. The analyst price target average is $43.30, with a high of $50 and low of $34. Shares have traded in a range of $39.48 - $29.17 since its re-IPO in November.

General Motors has seen some success since the start of 2011: auto sales increased 22 percent in January, 49 percent in February, 11 percent in March and another 27 percent in April.

The highly-anticipated Chevy Volt is off to a decent start, with 608 units shipped in March and 493 shipped during April. The public may need just a little more coercing for this auto, which begins in the low-$40,000's

The tragic March 11th earthquake in Japan caused a shortage for some Japanese automakers (as well as U.S. counterparts). Toyota had shut down several of its factories for the balance of the month, gingerly opening up each one as safety was assured. As several analysts have suggested, the event may be a boon for General Motors as the supply of Japanese autos slows.

Stay tuned to StreetInsider.com's EPS Insider section to see our analysis of the highly-anticipated quarterly results within seconds of the release.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Stocks
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