GM profits rise after record quarter in North America
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General Motors rode a strong performance in North America to higher fourth-quarter profits and said Tuesday that an easing in logistics problems has helped brighten its outlook for 2023.
GM, which regained the title of top US automaker last year after losing the status in 2021 to Toyota, reported fourth-quarter profits of $2 billion, up 14.8 percent from the year-ago period on revenues of $43.1 billion, up 28.4 percent.
The automaker cited strength in its "core auto business," with quarterly revenues in North America notching a fresh record, thanks to robust demand for the company's truck and sport utility vehicle offerings, its bread-and-butter products in its home market.
Pricing has been boosted by low vehicle inventories over the last year as the industry has struggled with shortages of semiconductors and other materials.
Looking ahead to 2023, the automaker described improving commodities and logistics as a "slight tailwind" and new US tax policies to incentivize electric vehicles as "at least" a $300 million boost.
GM released a 2023 profit per share target of between $6 and $7 per share, above analyst expectations.
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However, the outlook for vehicle pricing remains a question mark on auto industry profitability.
Tuesday's presentation showed an uptick in October-through-December US dealer inventories to more than double the level of a year ago. That adds to a complex pricing picture already clouded by higher lending costs and recession worries.
Rivals Tesla and Ford announced price cuts in January to leading electric vehicles.
But GM Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson signaled no intention to follow suit.
"We feel we're well positioned," Jacobson said in a briefing with reporters. "Our customers are saying that our vehicles are priced well."
Shares of GM jumped 6.7 percent to $38.73 in pre-market trading.