General Motors (GM) reported strong first quarter earnings on Tuesday morning, continuing its strong run of quarterly reports as the largest automaker in the U.S. gears up for a big year of electric vehicle launches.
For the quarter GM reported top-line revenue of $40.0 billion, topping street estimates of $39.23 billion. GM's adjusted EPS came in at $2.21, topping estimates of $1.72, with net income coming in at $2.4 billion.
GM also raised its full-year 2023 guidance, with the company seeing EBIT-adjusted earnings of $11.0 billion-$13.0 billion, compared to a prior outlook of $10.5 billion-$12.5 billion. GM sees FY adjusted EPS in a range of $6.35-$7.35, up from prior projections of $6.00-$7.00. GM also projects adjusted automotive free cash flow of $5.5 billion-$7.5 billion, compared to its previous outlook of $5.0 billion-$7.0 billion.
"First quarter [results] came in ahead of our projects," GM CFO Paul Jacobson said in a roundtable interview with reporters when discussing why GM raised its full-year guidance.
Earlier this month the company disclosed first quarter US deliveries rose 18% to 603,208 vehicles, with the automaker growing its US market share by an estimated 1.3%, the largest of any company in the industry, GM said.
GM also reported record electric vehicle deliveries of 20,670, though most of those were for the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV — GM only delivered two Hummer EV pickups and 968 Cadillac LYRIQ EVs. GM updated its EV rollout plans for 2023, noting that Silverado EV deliveries were set to begin in late Q2 to approximately 340 fleet customers, with production ramping up in Q2. GM also said the Chevy Blazer EV was on track to launch this summer, and the Chevy Equinox EV was set to launch this fall. GM had previously said the Equinox EV would start at around $30,000.
Also on the EV front, GM announced today that it and partner Samsung SDI planned to invest more than $3 billion in a battery plant, which would be GM's fourth plant in the U.S. “The cells we will build together will help us scale our EV capacity in North America well beyond 1 million units annually," GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement.
In her shareholder letter, Barra also reiterated GM's plan to plan to produce 400,000 EVs over the course of 2022, 2023, and the first half of 2024, including 50,000 EVs in North America in the first half of this year, and 100,000 EVs in the second half.
On a slight down note, GM's China business saw net revenue and wholesale deliveries fall considerably quarter over quarter and year over year. GM said the drop in the China business was "primarily due to challenging industry conditions resulting in lower volumes, mix deterioration, and pricing pressure."
On the operations front, GM initiated a voluntary buyout program for US salaried workers in Q1 and is expected to take a $1.5 billion charge as a result. GM said it will extract $2 billion in savings from the program and other cost-saving measures; so far 5,000 employees had opted into the program which was better than the company expected, GM CFO Paul Jacobson.