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GM initiates $10 billion buyback, boosts dividend and reinstates 2023 guidance after UAW strikes


Mary Barra, Chair and CEO of the General Motors Company (GM), speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, on May 2, 2022.

Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images

General Motors is seeking to regain Wall Street’s confidence leading into 2024 with several investor-focused initiatives Wednesday following a tumultuous year of labor strikes and setbacks in its plans for electric and autonomous vehicles.

The Detroit automaker plans to increase its quarterly dividend next year by 33% to 12 cents per share; initiate an accelerated $10 billion share repurchase; and reinstate its 2023 guidance to include an estimated $1.1 billion earning before interest and tax, or EBIT-adjusted, impact from roughly six weeks of U.S. labor strikes by the United Auto Workers union.

GM CEO Mary Barra in a statement said the company is finalizing a budget for next year that will “fully offset the incremental costs of our new labor agreements and the long-term plan we are executing includes reducing the capital intensity of the business, developing products even more efficiently, and further reducing our fixed and variable costs.

Shares of GM jumped roughly 6% during premarket trading Wednesday. Heading into the announcement, the stock was down 14.1% so far this year.

GM’s reinstated 2023 guidance also includes:

  • Net income attributable to stockholders of $9.1 billion to $9.7 billion, compared to a previous outlook of $9.3 billion to $10.7 billion.
  • Adjusted EBIT of $11.7 billion to $12.7 billion, compared to the previous outlook of $12.0 billion to $14.0 billion.
  • Adjusted earnings per share of roughly $7.20 to $7.70 including the stock buyback, compared to the previous outlook of $7.15 to $8.15.
  • EPS in the $6.52 to $7.02 range, including the stock buyback, compared to the previous outlook of $6.54 to $7.54
  • Adjusted automotive free cash flow of $10.5 billion to $11.5 billion, compared to the previous outlook of $7.0 billion to $9.0 billion
  • Net automotive cash provided by operating activities of $19.5 billion to $21.0 billion, compared to the previous outlook of $17.4 billion to $20.4 billion

GM pulled its guidance when it reported its third-quarter earnings on Oct. 24, citing volatility caused by the UAW negotiations and labor strikes. The work stoppages ended Oct. 30 when the sides reached a tentative deal.

Before the UAW strikes, CFO Paul Jacobson said the company was on track to achieve “toward the upper half” of its earnings forecast.

At that time, GM said strikes by the UAW cost the automaker roughly $800 million in pretax earnings due to lost vehicle production, including $200 million during the third quarter.

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GM stock after a slew of business updates on Wednesday.

GM said Wednesday it now anticipates 2023 capital spending to be between $11.0 billion and $11.5 billion, down from prior guidance of between $11 billion and $12 billion, driven by previously announced plans to delay some new products and investments, specifically regarding EVs.

Barra in a letter to shareholders Wednesday said she was “disappointed” in the company’s production this year of its next-generation EVs, known as Ultium vehicles.

She said the company expects “significantly higher Ultium EV production and significantly improved EV margins.”

GM has said it plans to earn low- to mid-single-digit EBIT-adjusted margins on its EV portfolio in 2025, before the positive impact of clean energy tax credits.

Cruise

Barra also said the automaker is “addressing challenges” at its majority-owned autonomous vehicle subsidiary Cruise.

Cruise recently issued a voluntary recall affecting 950 of its robotaxis and suspended all vehicle operations on public roads following a series of incidents that sparked criticism from first responders, labor activists and local elected officials, especially in San Francisco.

The events, specifically an October accident involving a pedestrian, led to CEO and cofounder Kyle Vogt resigning from the company.

“Our priority now is to focus the team on safety, transparency and accountability,” Barra said. “We must rebuild trust with regulators at the local, state and federal levels, as well as with the first responders and the communities in which Cruise will operate.”

Stock buyback

The accelerated stock buyback includes an aggregate of $10 billion to the banks executing the program, including Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Barclays and Citibank.

GM will immediately receive and retire $6.8 billion worth of its common stock. GM had approximately 1.37 billion shares of common stock outstanding prior to the program.

The total number of shares ultimately repurchased under the initiative will be determined at the end of the program, which is expected to occur during the fourth quarter. It will be based on the average of the daily volume-weighted prices of GM stock.

Outside of the announced program, GM said it will have $1.4 billion of capacity remaining under its share repurchase authorization “for additional, opportunistic share repurchases.”

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.



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