LOS ANGELES – General Motors’ net income declined in the first quarter, as the automaker sold fewer cars and trucks worldwide, although higher prices helped boost revenue, especially in North America.
GM late Tuesday reported net income of $2.94 billion, or $1.35 per share, versus a profit of $3.02 billion, or $2.03 per share, in the same quarter last year.
Excluding one-time items, such as costs related to its Cruise autonomous vehicle subsidiary, GM’s earnings amounted to $2.09 per share. Analysts’ consensus estimate was for $1.65 per share, according to FactSet.
Revenue jumped nearly 11% to $35.98 billion, but fell below the $36.89 billion analysts projected.
GM’s sales in the U.S., its most profitable market, jumped 13.5% in the first quarter versus a year earlier to $29.46 billion. GM sold 1.43 million vehicles during the quarter, down from 1.75 million in the same period last year.
The Detroit-based company’s worldwide market share slipped to 7.3% from 8.1%.
CEO Mary Barra said during a conference call with reporters that demand for the company's vehicles remains strong.
“What we’re seeing from a GM perspective gives us confidence that we have the pricing power and we have the customer demand for our products,” she said.
Global supply chain disruptions continue to make access to computer chips needed in automobile manufacturing volatile, but GM saw improvement on that front in the first quarter, Barra said.
“We think we’ll continue to see a stronger chip supply in the second half of the year versus the first half of the year," she said, adding: “We still believe we’ll be able to make 25%-30% more vehicles this year than we did last year, even with what we’re seeing in the market today.”
GM is banking on strong demand for electric vehicles. The company has several models in the works, including electric variants of the Chevy Blazer, Equinox, Silverado pickup and Corvette.
Earlier this month, GM announced it will co-develop “affordable” electric vehicles with Honda. One of the vehicles that will come about from that venture is a crossover that GM plans to price below the Equinox electric variant, Barra said Tuesday.
GM's stock rose 1.2% in after-hours trading after having closed 4.5% lower.