ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
36°
Broken Clouds
H 51° L 44°
  • cloudy-day
    36°
    Current Conditions
    Broken Clouds. H 51° L 44°
  • rain-day
    48°
    Afternoon
    Showers. H 51° L 44°
  • rain-day
    46°
    Evening
    Showers. H 51° L 44°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Business
GM raises 2018 forecast, predicts stronger 2019 earnings
Close

GM raises 2018 forecast, predicts stronger 2019 earnings

GM raises 2018 forecast, predicts stronger 2019 earnings
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Richard Drew
Chairwoman and CEO of General Motors Mary Barra is interviewed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. General Motors strengthened its pretax profit estimate for 2018 and predicted even stronger performance for this year as it executives made a presentation to investors on Friday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

GM raises 2018 forecast, predicts stronger 2019 earnings

General Motors strengthened its pretax profit estimate for 2018 and predicted even stronger performance for this year as it executives made a presentation to investors on Friday.

Shares jumped nearly 9 percent in midday trading.

CEO Mary Barra also says the company doesn't foresee any further job cuts through 2020. Last year GM announced plans to close five North American factories and lay off 14,000 salaried and blue-collar workers.

The company predicts 2018 pretax, per-share profits will be higher than the $5.80 to $6.20 range it forecast in the third quarter. For 2019, it expects that to increase to $6.50 to $7.

The rosy profit forecast comes despite declining sales for the company in the U.S. and slowing sales in China. GM also plans to exit several car lines in the U.S. in the coming year.

The outlook exceeded Wall Street's expectations for both years. Analysts polled by FactSet expect pretax earnings of $6.24 for 2018 and they predict a decline for this year, to $5.92.

In a briefing for reporters before the presentation in New York, Barra said GM has enough new trucks and SUVs coming this year to offset any U.S. sales decline caused by scrapping car models such as the Chevrolet Cruze.

The company is rolling out new full-size pickup trucks and has heavy-duty versions coming later in the year. It also will have a full year of sales for the Cadillac XT4 and Chevrolet Blazer new SUVs, as well as new Cadillacs to be announced later, she said. "We think we have a very, very strong product portfolio this year, and we're really looking forward to getting those vehicles, trucks crossovers in to the marketplace," she said.

Chief Financial Officer Dhivya Suryadevara said restructuring efforts will help GM's bottom line in 2018 by $2 billion to $2.5 billion, with a total benefit of $4.5 billion in cost savings and $1.5 billion less in capital spending by the end of 2020.

Barra said that based on current business conditions, she sees no further layoffs or plant closures through the end of 2020. "We've made all the announcements that we need to make. We're continuing to transform the company," she said.

In November, GM announced plans to shut the plants and lay off the workers, including about 3,300 at four U.S. factories that mainly make cars and components, 2,600 at a factory in Canada and over 8,000 white-collar workers. The company said the moves are necessary to stay financially healthy as it makes the transition to more electric and autonomous vehicles.

Barra said Friday that GM has 2,700 jobs at other factories for the 3,300 U.S. factory workers slated for layoff. About 1,500 workers have expressed interest in moving to other plants, and 700 already have been placed, she said. Another 1,200 are eligible to retire, she said.

GM has faced withering criticism from politicians and U.S. and Canadian unions because of the cuts. The company says it still has to negotiate possible closures in the U.S. with the United Auto Workers union.

Plants slated for closure include Lordstown, Ohio; Detroit-Hamtramck, Michigan; Warren, Michigan, White Marsh, Michigan, near Baltimore and Oshawa, Ontario near Toronto.

Also, GM said it still plans to start a self-driving ride-hailing service this year in an unspecified city. Dan Ammann, the new CEO of GM's Cruise Automation autonomous vehicle unit, said GM still plans to deploy fully autonomous vehicles without human backup drivers for the service. But he also said the system may start with vehicles that have steering wheels and other controls.

"We will not deploy until we achieve the safety thresholds that we believe we need to deploy," Ammann said when questioned by reporters. "We're going as quickly as we can to reach that point."

Google's Waymo autonomous vehicle unit had said it would carry passengers without human backups in Arizona this year, but late in the year announced that the humans would remain.

In China, GM expects sales to be flat overall, around 27 million. Even with 20 new or updated models coming in the country this year, Suryadevara predicted a small decline in profits from China.

GM also said its Cadillac brand would get the first electric vehicle in 2021 from a new architecture of battery-powered cars, and the luxury brand will be the leader for electric vehicle introductions.

"We view this as a smart strategic play as it will allow pricing flexibility at the higher-end which should help scale technology down to its other lines," UBS analyst Colin Langan wrote.

The United Auto Workers union applauded the additional electric vehicles and said in a statement Friday that they should be made at U.S. factories.

Read More

News

  • Pop star Miley Cyrus took to social media Wednesday night to deny rumors that she is pregnant. >> Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth married, reports say 'I am not 'egg-xpecting' but it's 'egg-celent' to hear everyone is 'so happy for us'... We're happy for us too! 'Egg-cited' for this next chapter in our lives... Now can everyone leave me alone and go back to staring at an egg?' Cyrus, 26, tweeted in response to a Daily Mail report that claimed she and husband Liam Hemsworth 'are expecting their first child together.' >> See the tweet here >> Egg photo tops Kylie Jenner post as most-liked Instagram snapshot The post featured an altered photo of the 'Malibu' singer with a smiling egg covering her belly – an apparent reference to an egg photo that went viral this week. >> Read more trending news  Cyrus married the 29-year-old Hemsworth last month.
  • Maine's giant spinning ice disk that quickly gained international fame seems to have met its end. The formation in the Presumpscot River in Greater Portland stopped rotating Wednesday, two days after a video of its mesmerizing movement was widely shared on social media. The roughly 100-yard (91-meter) wide disk is lodged against the river's edge, preventing it from moving. Meteorologist Ryan Breton tells the Portland Press Herald if the disk freezes into place, 'that might be the end of it.' The ice formation is believed to have formed naturally where there's a circular current that creates a whirlpool effect. Social media users compared it to an alien spacecraft and the moon, and ducks used it as a big raft.
  • A star athlete at a high school in Douglas County, Georgia, is being held in jail without bond after police arrested him on murder charges. >> Watch the news report here Police arrested Jalen Morgan, 17, on the Alexander High School campus last week because they said he was part of a conspiracy to commit murder in May of last year. Investigators said seven people were involved, and Morgan, along with his cousin LeAndrea Morgan, acted as the lookouts for the crime. “Two of these individuals had pre-existing issues with each other, and they showed up in an attempt to commit this act,” said Sgt. Jesse Hambrick, with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. WSB-TV’s Tyisha Fernandes learned that the intended target for the crime was not the person shot and killed. The documents say that during the robbery, one of the suspects fired a shot at the intended target – Kenneth McClary – but McClary shot back and killed the suspect. Now, all seven suspects are being held in jail without bond. >> Read more news stories  Police arrested the suspects just a few weeks after the slaying, and last week they arrested the Morgan cousins. They've wrapped the case. “These last two were the last two that they expect, and they’re ready to move forward from there,” Hambrick said. Each suspect is facing several charges, and one is accused of being a gang member. Investigators said he's part of the Bloods. They're saying he committed the crime with the intent to maintain and increase his status as a known gang member.
  • Crews are on site this morning to repair damage caused by a MARTA train derailment.  The derailed cars are still stuck on the tracks more than a day after the accident.  MARTA officials say two cars on an out-of-service train derailed around 9 p.m. Tuesday at the airport station, causing train service to stop on the red and gold lines. No passengers were on board and the rail operator was not hurt.  We're at the scene as crews prepare to bring in a giant crane to the scene and we'll have the impact for travelers, on Channel 2 Action News This Morning Passengers trying to get to the airport must get off at the College Park station, where a shuttle train and buses are taking people back and forth. The agency is investigating what caused the issue. TRENDING STORIES: Forsyth County man charged with plot to attack White House, FBI says High school football star arrested at school on murder charges Boy suspended for unintentionally using counterfeit money in lunch line
  • A Tennessee schoolteacher is accused of sex crimes involving a teen. >> Watch the news report here Jasmine Edmond, 24, was arrested Monday. She is charged with sexual battery by an authority figure. Edmond, who is a teacher at Power Center Academy High School in Memphis, began working at the school in August 2018, according to a letter sent to parents. She taught several different math classes. The alleged incident happened in November 2017, prior to Edmond’s employment with PCA High. She was employed by Shelby County Schools at the time, according to the letter, which was written by PCA High Principal Antonio Ryan. >> On Fox13Memphis.com: Man accused of attacking woman he forcibly held into prostitution, police say Ryan said the school completed a background check on Edmond, but it didn’t show anything about the alleged crime. Edmond is accused of engaging in sexual contact with someone between the ages of 13 and 17. At the time of the unlawful sexual contact, she 'had supervisory power over (the victim) by virtue of her occupational status and used the power to accomplish sexual contact,' according to the indictment. Edmond was released from jail on bond. WHBQ reached out to both Gestalt Community Schools – which operates PCA High – and Shelby County Schools for comment.  SCS confirmed Edmond was placed on administrative leave on March 27, 2018, to conduct an investigation into the allegations. She did not return to the district.  >> Read more news stories  Below is the statement given by SCS officials regarding her arrest: 'Following the reported allegations, the employee was placed on administrative leave on March 27 so that the District and law enforcement could conduct a thorough investigation. This is standard District procedure. The employee did not return to the school for the remainder of the year and is no longer employed by the District.' Gestalt Community Schools also responded with the following statement: 'We were shocked and disappointed when Jasmine Edmond was arrested. She was a new teacher at Power Center Academy, and we performed a thorough background check last summer, which showed no indication of such behavior. She is currently on administrative leave from Gestalt Community Schools pending further investigation. Although we have no knowledge at this time that her behavior impacted any of our scholars, we are doing our own internal due diligence. We will fully assist the Memphis Police Department with their investigation.' Read more here.
  • Phoenix police are looking for answers after a dead newborn baby was discovered at an Amazon fulfillment center Wednesday. According to KTVK, the body was found about 8:30 p.m. in a women's bathroom at the facility on West Lower Buckeye Road, authorities said. Officials said the baby was inside a garbage can, KNXV reported. >> Read more news stories  Amazon called the incident 'terribly sad and tragic' in a statement. 'We are working with local authorities to support their investigation,' the statement read, according to KTVK. 'The safety and wellness of our team is our top priority.' Read more here or here.