Tesla Motors Inc. released its Fourth Quarter & Full Year 2012 Shareholder letter on Wednesday. While the letter provides a very positive outlook for Tesla’s future, there are some questions looming in the background once we dig deeper into Tesla’s balance sheet.
Nissan pulled off an even bigger miracle than Toyota and ended a (this time truly) catastrophic year with a big profit. Today in Yokohama, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn announced that Nissan delivered a pre-tax profit of 535.1 billion yen (US $6.76 billion) for the fiscal year that ended on March 31, “despite natural disasters and currency exchange headwinds.” (Read More…)
The European malaise seems to have selective impact on European automakers. Audi announced record results today. Audi reported an operating profit of €5.35 billion ($7.16 billion) in 2011, and wants to have even better results this year. (Read More…)
Sadly, my internet came crashing around my ears just as GM’s Q1 results conference call was getting interesting. Typical Monday. I’ll rock myself to sleep tonight with a recording of the call and report back tomorrow, but at this point the big news is plainly visible on this single slide. Yes, GM finally got control of its incentives and wrestled them below the industry average… for a month. That month (March) also just happened to be the worst month this year for GM market-share wise. The next month (April), the incentives went back over the industry average, and market share increased once again. The lesson seems obvious: GM won’t gain market share on promises of high-quality cars and taxpayer payback alone.
Well, the suspense is over. General Motors announced its Q1 earnings this morning, and for the first time since 2007 the quarterly numbers are positive. GM’s net revenue jumped to nearly $31.5b on strong performances from its North American and GM International Operations (GMIO), and across-the-board sales improvement for the Chevy brand. General Motors Europe was The General’s sole unprofitable division for the quarter, losing half a billion dollars while it waits for a deal on financial assistance to clear. Operating cash flow was $1.75b, with about $755m of that going towards capital expenditures. That left just under a billion dollars in free cash flow, as GM finished the quarter with $35.7b in cash on hand. Net income attributable to shareholders was $1.068b, less $203m for cumulative dividends, for a total net profit of $865m [Full financial highlights in .doc format available here].
Chrysler crowed over its 9.1 percent market share in its Q1 results conference call yesterday, and though CEO Sergio Marchionne refused to be pinned down on an exact time frame, an IPO this year looks more likely than ever. Similarly, BusinessWeek reports that GM’s Ed Whitacre has hinted that a Q1 profit is likely, as is an IPO in Q4 of this year or early next year. This improvement in both bailed-out automakers was underlined by former Presidential Auto Task Force head Steve Rattner, who said the two firms were “meeting expectations,” at a Detroit-area conference. But Rattner also put his expectations into some context by saying
When we did this restructuring we never expected a full recovery of our investment. If it ends up costing us $10 billion we should consider it a success. For about $10 billion we avoided economic and human calamities… I would suggest that that’s a pretty effective cost of government stimulus
That assessment is down considerably from Rattner’s last prediction, which expected a taxpayer profit on the auto bailout.