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GM Q2 Results Tomorrow. IPO Filing Friday?

Look for significantly improved profits, as production is way up, costs slashed. Only problem is Opel's bleeding in Europe.

by on Aug.11, 2010

No one is happy with taxpayer ownership of GM.

General Motors Company is due to release Q2 results tomorrow morning that some analysts predict will be a significant improvement on its Q1 performance.

Some of the speculation was prompted by GM CEO Ed Whitacre, who recently said that the privately held company would post impressive results in Q2, implying it would far surpass a profit of $865 million in Q1.

A blowout quarter is the next step in building a story for potential buyers of new GM stock when the reorganized company goes public, a goal that all senior executives are focused on, with considerable pressure from the Obama Administration. Facing increasing Republican criticism of government spending, the Administration wants to put the politically unpopular taxpayer funded auto bailouts behind it before the midterm Congressional elections this fall.

Government Motors, as GM is derisively known in conservative circles, is also a huge marketing negative for a company that has been losing share for decades.

An IPO will require an Securities and Exchange Commission filing that could come as soon as Friday, says Joe Phillippi of the AutoTrends consultancy.

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GM executives have been coy about the timing of the Initial Public Offering, saying only that it will come when the timing is right.

The strength of the financial markets and their ability to absorb what will be an enormous public offering of the bloodied  company are also big factors. GM is 60% owned by U.S. taxpayers, and 12% owned by Canadian taxpayers.

“Production is way up and costs down, so look for results that will impress Wall Street,” Phillippi said.

He added the preliminary steps for the filing appear to be completed, including bylaw changes already filed with the SEC,  and the hiring of investment bankers JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley. All that remains is filling in the latest financial numbers on the registration statement.

GM had revenue of $31.5 billion and operating income of $1.2 billion during the first quarter of 2010. GM’s net income attributable to common stockholders was $0.9 billion ($865 million), resulting in earnings per share on a diluted basis of $1.66.

It was the first quarterly profit at the company since 2007.

GM lost $6 billion in the first quarter of 2009 as the Obama administration prepared to force it into a chapter 11 reorganization, which saw U.S. taxpayers taking control of the ailing firm while $50 billion was injected into the automaker.

(See also GM Has a Chance of being Profitable by Ken Zino)

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