DETROIT — General Motors lost $194 million in the fourth quarter, including a $2.6 billion ($3.45 billion Canadian) hit from the UAW's strike, resulting in a net profit of $6.7 billion ($8.9 billion Canadian) in 2019.
Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes in the quarter plummeted 96 per cent from a year earlier to $105 million. Revenue declined 20 per cent to $30.8 billion, and the company's profit margin declined 7 full points to 0.3 per cent.
In North America, GM earned $263 million in the fourth quarter, down 91 per cent from a year earlier. The decline was primarily a result of the 40-day UAW strike that began in September but was partially offset by cost actions and strong truck sales. GM's full-year profit of $8.2 billion in North America will result in an average profit-sharing check for UAW members of $8,000.
Terry Dittes, vice president of the UAW-GM department, said in a statement regarding the profit sharing: "Much was made about the cost of the strike, but consider the fact that even with a 40-day strike, General Motors North America made a significant profit.”
The automaker said it lost a net four weeks of vehicle production in the quarter due to the UAW strike, reducing wholesales by 191,000 units.
Losses in GM's international regions increased to $120 million, and China equity income declined because of lower sales volumes.
Earnings from GM Financial rose 20 per cent to $498 million.
Shares of GM were up a fraction to $34.57 in midday trading Wednesday.
GM's full-year net income was down 16 per cent from 2018 while adjusted earnings before interest and taxes fell 29 per cent from the previous year to $8.4 billion.
This year, GM said it expects adjusted earnings of $5.75 to $6.25 per share, versus $4.82 in 2019, and adjusted operating cash flow of $13 billion to $14.5 billion, up from $7.4 billion.
GM has achieved about $3.3 billion of its 2018 cost-cutting plan so far and plans to cut another $1 billion in 2020, CFO Dhivya Suryadevara told reporters.
The company said when it laid out the plan in November 2018 that it expects the strategy to contribute $6 billion in cash savings by 2020 — $4.5 billion in cost reductions and $1.5 billion in lower capital expenditures.