General Motors Company (NYSE:GM)’s decision to announce a quarterly dividend is being viewed as a credit negative by Moody’s Investors Service of Moody’s Corporation (MCO). However, the rating agency did not change the company’s current ratings or investment-grade credit profile of the automaker. The outlook for all the ratings is also stable.
General Motors announced a quarterly dividend of 30 cents per share, payable on Mar 28, 2014, to shareholders of record as of Mar 18, 2014. The quarterly dividend translates into an annual dividend yield of about 3%, based on the closing share price of $40.02 as of Jan 14, 2014.
Separately, General Motors revealed that its global deliveries in 2013 increased 4% over 2012 to 9,714,652 vehicles. The improvement was driven by an 11% increase in sales in both China and U.K. and a 7% rise in the U.S. Launch of new products also contributed to the rise in sales.
General Motors’ sales in China reached a record high of 3,160,377 units in 2013. Annual sales in the U.S. amounted to 2.8 million units, up 7% over 2012. Retail sales in the U.S. also grew 11%.
General Motors’ Chevrolet brand had record high sales of 4,984,126 vehicles globally in 2013. The strong sales were driven by the launch of 25 new products as well as an enhanced retail experience.
Sales of Cadillac surged 28% over 2012, while Buick sales improved 15%. Opel/Vauxhall had global sales of over 1 million units.
Another major automaker, Ford Motor Co.’s (F) total U.S. sales in 2013 amounted to 2,493,918 units, buoyed by the annual sales record set by Ford Fiesta, Fusion and Escape. In 2013, Toyota Motor Corp.(TM) registered sales of 2,236,042 units, up 7.4% over 2012.
General Motors currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).