No more over-promising and under-delivering at GM, insists CFO Chris Liddell.
General Motors reports it lost $4.3 billion during the nearly six months after it emerged from bankruptcy on June 10, last year, but senior GM officials stressed that during the final quarter of 2009, the company’s finances improved substantially, making it very possible the long-troubled automaker will be back in the black for 2010. ( See GM Has a Chance of being Profitable by Ken Zino)
Using what it described as “fresh start accounting,” GM’s Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell laid out a cautiously optimistic snapshot of the automaker which, he said, is “building a foundation for this company to return to public ownership.”
But Liddell stressed that there are numerous uncertainties in the way and that prevents GM from setting a specific timetable for both a financial turnaround and for the planned Initial Public Offering that will help raise cash needed to repay the U.S. Treasury for last year’s $52 billion bailout.
In a conference call with reporters and analysts, Liddell and newly appointed Chief Accounting Officer Nick Cyprus stressed that the post-bankruptcy GM is a very different company from the one that went into Chapter 11, last year. Among other things, it has slashed its debt and liabilities by tens of billions of dollars, ending 2009 with face value debt of less than $8 billion, excluding government money that now gives the U.S. government a 61% stake in the automaker. ( See GM Delays Annual Report Filing by Ken Zino)