DETROIT - General Motors, the largest U.S. automaker, posted a third-quarter profit that beat estimates as demand for redesigned pickups and other models in North America made up for losses in Europe and in Asia outside of China.
Profit excluding one-time items was 96 cents a share, Detroit-based GM said Wednesday, exceeding the 94-cent average of 13 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with 93 cents a share a year earlier.
Chrysler, the third- largest U.S. automaker, reported a ninth straight quarterly profit Wednesday, and Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest car company, topped estimates on gains by the Porsche sports-car brand.
GM’s new cars and trucks in the U.S., such as the revamped Chevrolet Silverado pickup, along with booming sales of Buicks in China, boosted revenue to $39 billion from $37.6 billion a year ago, missing the $39.4 billion average estimate of five analysts. North America adjusted earnings before interest and taxes rose to $2.19 billion from $1.72 billion compared with a year earlier.
“We’re in the very heart of the product launch activity right now and we’re going to build on the momentum that we’ve established here,” Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann told reporters in Detroit. “We’re commanding good prices, we’re controlling costs.”
GM’s adjusted-EBIT margin rose to 9.3 percent in the third quarter in North America, the highest level since the third quarter of 2011 when it was 10 percent, according to the automaker.
The shares gained 25 percent this year through Tuesday, compared with a 24 percent increase for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
Four analysts surveyed estimated that a surge in North America earnings would offset weaker performances in the rest of the world, particularly GM’s International Operations unit, which includes India and Southeast Asia where the automaker has faced expensive recalls and price competition from Toyota, respectively.
Companywide net income fell in the third quarter to $1.72 billion from $1.8 billion during the same quarter a year ago.
GM’s U.S. operations are benefiting from 18 new or refreshed products being introduced this year, including the Silverado, which hadn’t been redesigned since 2006. Large pickups are among GM’s most profitable vehicles.
The automaker plans 14 more new vehicles in the U.S. next year, all part of its effort to transform the company’s lineup into one of the industry’s freshest from the among the oldest.