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GM announces a new $6 billion share buyback, now expects to produce as many as 250K EVs this year

Pras Subramanian

Jun 11, 2024

GM CFO Paul Jacobson said that the automaker is leaning into capital allocation strategy as its business performs with consumers.

GM (GM) shares jumped on Tuesday as the automaker doubled down on returning capital back to shareholders.

GM announced that its board approved a new share buyback plan to repurchase up to $6 billion of GM’s outstanding common shares. This is an addition to the $10 billion accelerated share repurchase (ASR) program it introduced at the end of last year, which also coincided with its plan to increase its dividend by 33%, beginning last January.

“We’re continuing to lean into our capital allocation policy, and as the business has continued to perform and we've seen stable pricing, we've seen disciplined incentives from our team, and we've seen a vehicle portfolio that customers just love, and all that spells a lot of success,” GM CFO Paul Jacobson told Yahoo Finance from the Deutsche Bank Global Auto Industry Conference in New York City.

Jacobson said the new share buybacks will begin in the second half of 2024.

GM stock rallied after the opening bell by nearly 2% to its highest level in over two years.

Part of GM’s capital allocation strategy is determining the investments the company will make, and is making, in its EV business. Though GM has backed away from its initial big EV plans, Jacobson said the company is still bullish on EVs and has had success with its EV rollout, which came later than those of rivals like Ford.

Jacobson said GM expects to produce 200,000 to 250,000 EVs this year, slightly lower than the 200,000 to 300,000 it had previously expected. But he expects the EVs to be “variable profit positive,” meaning GM can “sell it for more than the cost of the materials and start to offset all of our fixed costs.” He added that GM can reach variable profit in its entire EV fleet by the end of this year, with EBIT (earnings before interest, expense, and taxes) profitability coming in 2025.

The EV business in the here and now is starting to turn for GM too.

“We're picking up significant [EV market] share; we sold over 9,500 EVs in North America last month,” Jacobson said. The Chevrolet Blazer and Cadillac LYRIQ EV had “really strong gains,” per Jacobson, and he expects that momentum to continue with the entry-level Equinox EV, which he noted was the least expensive 300-mile-range EV in the market.

Jacobson added GM's EV growth rate was actually "outpacing everybody."

In terms of GM’s broader 2024 financial metrics, Jacobson said at the conference that GM was keeping its full-year adjusted EBIT forecast of $12.5 billion to $14.5 billion (which it boosted following Q1 results). But he noted that Q2 earnings will be higher than Q1’s adjusted EBIT of $3.9 billion.

On a slight down note, GM is investing an additional $850 million into its troubled Cruise autonomous unit, which is getting its robo-taxis back on the road following a high-profile accident in San Francisco and missteps that led to a Cruise management shake-up.

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