Sterne Agee analyst cuts earnings estimates for GM

Sterne Agee analyst cuts profit predictions for GM, pointing to drop in 1st-qtr production

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- A Sterne Agee analyst cut his earnings estimates for General Motors Co., citing lower North American vehicle production during the first quarter.

THE OPINION: Michael Ward, who kept his "Buy" rating on the stock, said GM's first quarter production fell 6 percent in North America, and production of its most profitable vehicles — large SUVs — dropped 35 percent.

Ward lowered his 2013 earnings prediction by 20 cents to $3.40 per share and reduced his 2014 estimate by 15 cents to $4.50 per share.

Analysts, on average, expect 2013 profit of $3.32 per share and $4.33 per share in 2014.

Ward said the company's overall future looks bright, pointing to the Detroit automaker's strong balance sheets, expectations of near-record operations results this year and next, along with its leading market position in China.

THE SHARES: Down 41 cents to $29.06 in afternoon trading amid a broad market sell-off.

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