GM posted better quarterly numbers today than analysts expected. Instead of jumping on the news, the GM share is down at the time of this typing? Why? Analysts and financial reporters quickly caught on to an old trick that has an air of despair: GM delayed spending into the next quarter. Says Reuters:
“General Motors posted a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit as its loss in Europe was not as bad as feared, and its results were boosted by delayed spending in North America.”
GM reported $0.90 earnings per share for the quarter, the consensus estimate expected $0.79. GM’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.6% on a year-over-year basis.
The street quickly caught on to the shifty shifting of expenses and profits. Again, Reuters:
“However, GM, which delayed the spending to the third quarter, said its average profit outlook for the second and third quarters combined in North America would still be the same as previously forecast, suggesting analysts will need to cut their estimates for the third quarter.
GM had previously said its second and third quarter operating profit in North America would be similar to the $1.7 billion it reported in the first quarter. It earned $1.97 billion in the second quarter, implying it will earn about $1.4 billion in the third quarter, analysts said.”
Analysts also don’t buy that things are suddenly peachier in Europe. Said Jefferies analyst Peter Nesvold:
“I feel like Europe will continue to be a black hole until we’re at least able to frame the magnitude of the downturn. They showed some nimbleness in this quarter that they have not shown so far since the new GM went public. People will remain skeptical though before they want to give them any credit.”