General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) made some big announcements this week regarding its recalls and product safety review. JPMorgan analysts say now that the automaker has completed its extensive product safety review, its pace of recalls show slow down significantly. Of course with the millions upon millions of vehicles GM has recalled over the last year or so, this seems like a common sense expectation. Now that we should be moving past the noise that has been GM’s endless series of recalls, investors are free to focus their attentions purely on the automaker’s fundamentals.
GM finishes product safety review
Along with saying it had completed its product safety review, General Motors recalled 8 million more vehicles. The cost of that recall is estimated to be about $500 million “when lumped in with several earlier recalls,” according to JPMorgan analysts.
In a report dated July 1, 2014, analysts Ryan Brinkman, Samik Chatterjee and David Karnovsky said the conclusion of GM’s safety review is a “significant positive. Although they expect the pace of the recalls to slow, they say it will remain elevated because of the massive ignition switch recall in February. They believe the extra 8 million recalled vehicles is only a “modest negative.” The analysts believe that investors should look at the number within a certain context. GM hasn’t lost its share of the market even though it had already recalled 20 million vehicles before that.
They note that General Motors’ equity fallen because of the incremental cost of the recalls, although they say Wall Street has already braced for costs to rise because GM recalled 500,000 more vehicles the automaker has recalled since its last second quarter recall charge estimate on June 16. The charge slashes their second quarter earnings per share estimate from 72 cents to 51 cents.
General Motors sets compensation program
GM also announced this week that it has put in place some parameters to compensate those who were injured or the family members of those who died because of the faulty ignition switches. The JPMorgan team sees these parameters as being more mixed, although overall, they see the automaker’s publishing of them as a positive. They say this allows investors to “mostly move beyond them.”
The analysts say that by changing the focus back to General Motors’ fundamentals, there could be “significant upside” for its stock. They note that GM is fairly inexpensive compared to its history, suppliers and competitor Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F).Shares of GM are at 3.3 times NTM EBITDAPO, compared to a “long-run average” of about 3.75 times to 4.75 times. This is a 1.9 turn discount to Ford’s 5.2 multiple. Meanwhile suppliers trade at about a 42% premium to history. Meanwhile GM’s earnings heading higher as it rolls out heavy-duty pickups and full-size SUVs, as well as a product refresh in China for the second half.
They maintained their Overweight rating and $50 per share price target on GM.