Automakers Ford and GM See Strong Demand, Strong Pricing

Both Ford and General Motors are benefiting from pent-up demand because of the choked supply chain. Supply chain constraints and component shortages are now expected to continue for a few more quarters, which could limit production, and get in the way of filling channel inventory. This means continued strength in prices, which is a very good thing for these companies that are racing to meet their EV production and sales targets and therefore investing heavily in that business.  

The following discussion is about how the companies’ June quarter turned out as compared with analyst estimates:

Ford Motor Company F

Ford’s June quarter earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 58% on revenue that beat by a more sedate 16%.

The automotive business (over 94% of total revenue) was very strong in the quarter, growing 57% year over year and beating analyst estimates by 14.8%. North America (77% of auto revenue) was the driver with sales beating by 24.2%. This strength was offset by Europe, which missed by 3.8%; the International Markets Group, which missed by 5.4%; South America, which makes a much smaller contribution, by 25.8%; China, which is even smaller, by 19.8%.

Wholesale units beat by 4.4%, again driven by North America, where unit volumes beat by 14.1% and Europe, where unit volumes beat by 2.5%. Unit volumes were below expectations in the International Markets Group, China and South America and China that saw misses of 18.4%, 12.6% and 34.2%, respectively.

The Financial Services (Ford credit) division (nearly 6% of total revenue) missed by 5.7%. Other/Mobility, which made up the balance, missed by 56.1%.

Virtually all (98.4%) of the earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) came from North America. It was 74.3% above analyst estimates.

The automotive and Mobility/Other EBIT came in better than expected, while financial services disappointed.

Ford picked up 0.3% market share during the quarter, ending with 5.3%. Its electric vehicle (EV) plans remain on track and the company is extremely well positioned to migrate Ford loyalists to its EVs, whether truck or light vehicle. New orders for EVs continue to grow.

General Motors Company GM

General Motors reported June quarter earnings that missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 18.0% on sales that missed by 1.4%. While earnings declined 42.1% year over year, revenue grew 4.7%.

Revenue growth was attributable to the main automotive segment, which accounted for more than 94% of revenue in the quarter and was offset by the decline in GM Financial. But all segments came in lower than analyst estimates.

Within Automotive, GMNA missed by 1.3%, GMI missed by 16.8%, GM Cruise by 60.3%. As a whole, auto was 3.7% short of estimates.

GM Financial missed by 6.2%.

GMNA unit volumes were about in line with estimates, while GMI volumes missed by 26.4%. Total vehicle sales missed by 3.7%.

So the GMNA business appears to have been relatively close to expectations while GMI remains hard to predict. Historically, auto revenues have proved hard to predict, with the last five quarters including a beat of 22.0% and a miss of 3.7%. But this was the first time in recent history that it missed.

As far as operating income is concerned, General Motors posted positive surprises in GMI and Financial while all other segments disappointed. Utilization has picked up substantially over the past year.

General Motors is picking up share in cars and losing share in trucks and crossovers. Its strongest market is the U.S. where it has 16.2% market share. South America market share has increased 2 percentage points over the past year to 11.8%. Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa market share declined to 6.6%.

One-Month Price Performance

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