Blog: Dave LeggettGM on the up?

Dave Leggett | 27 January 2004

Ford and GM are embattled. That's more or less a given these days. Under attack at home from the Japanese, margins suffering from incentives and profits being held up by finance operations. And there's a certain inevitability about Ford being overtaken as global number two by Toyota. But I'm detecting a much more upbeat feel around GM right now. Net profit was down in Q4, but net earnings per share exceeded analysts' expectations and Wall Street analysts are bullish on the outlook for GM - the share price has risen by over 30% since November. And the growing earnings contribution of GM's Asia-Pacific operations - and more particularly China - is encouraging. Net profits from the region tripled last year to $577 million and are forecast by GM to see a rise of a further 40% this year. Moreover, GM-Daewoo is shaping up as a decent asset with a solid strategy behind it. And, at long last, European operations are close to break-even. Problems haven't gone away of course, but all things considered, maybe GM isn't looking too bad right now.

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