General Motors Co. reported revenue of $32.7 billion and first-quarter earnings heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Revenue was down 6.2 percent from 2019’s first quarter and income of $0.3 billion was down nearly 87 percent year-over-year.

“GM has suspended the quarterly dividend on its common stock and the company’s share repurchase program was also paused,” GM’s release stated.

The company described its underlying business performance as “strong.” In the first quarter, GM reported EPS-diluted of $0.17 and EPS-diluted-adjusted of $0.62; EPS diluted-adjusted includes a $(0.28) impact from Lyft and PSA revaluations; income of $0.3 billion, and EBIT-adj. of $1.2 billion, which includes a $(1.4) billion COVID-19 impact.

GM North America reported EBIT-adjusted of $2.2 billion and GM Financial had EBT-adjusted of $0.2 billion.

General Motors Co. has extended $3.6 billion under its three-year revolving credit agreement to April 2022, to further strengthen its liquidity position. This complements the extension of the $2 billion 364-day revolving credit agreement to April 2021 that GM and GM Financial renewed earlier this month. In addition, the company has suspended the quarterly cash dividend on its common stock, suspended its share repurchase program and has taken other significant austerity measures to preserve near-term available cash.

“We continue to enhance our liquidity to help navigate the uncertainties in the global market created by this pandemic,” said GM Chief Financial Officer Dhivya Suryadevara. “Fortifying our cash position and strengthening our balance sheet will position the company to create value for all our stakeholders.”

GM reported it remains committed to its capital allocation framework, which is focused on reinvesting in the business at pretax returns equal to or greater than 20 percent; maintaining a strong investment-grade balance sheet; and returning capital to shareholders after the first two objectives have been met.

On April 16th the first Ventec Ventilators were shipped out of GM’s plant in Kokomo, Indiana and the workers that built them wrote notes and signed the boxes with messages of hope and support for frontline hospital workers and people suffering from COVID-19.

GM began working with Ventec, a small Seattle-based producer of the ventilators, in early March and mobilized more than 1,000 employees and nearly 100 auto suppliers to start making the critical machines in the fight against COVID-19. The goal is to eventually make 10,000 ventilators per month, according to GM and Ventec, but the companies didn’t specify how long it would take to reach that output. GM also plans to produce masks.

With 960,000 US COVID-19 patients potentially needing ventilators, President Trump ordered General Motors on March 27th through a 1950’s wartime act⁠ to make ventilators for U.S. hospitals treating COVID-19 patients. GM said it began work on the life-saving machines on March 16th. 

General Motors announced that it intends to drawdown approximately $16.0 billion from its revolving credit facilities. This is a proactive measure to increase GM's cash position and preserve financial flexibility in light of current uncertainty in global markets resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will supplement the company's strong cash position of approximately $15 billion to $16 billion expected at the end of March. 

“We are aggressively pursuing austerity measures to preserve cash and are taking necessary steps in this changing and uncertain environment to manage our liquidity, ensure the ongoing viability of our operations and protect our customers and stakeholders,” said Mary Barra, GM chairman and CEO. “Over the past several years, we have made necessary, strategic decisions and structural changes that have transformed the company and strengthened the business, better positioning us for downturns.”

In addition, GM Financial (GMF) has strong liquidity and capitalization. GMF had $24 billion of liquidity at the end of 2019 and expects to end the first quarter with similar levels of liquidity. Its liquidity level is targeted to support at least six months of cash needs, including new originations, without access to capital markets.

The United Auto Workers (UAW), General Motors Co., Ford Motor Company and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced they are forming a COVID-19/Coronavirus Task Force to implement enhanced protections for manufacturing and warehouse employees at all three companies.

UAW President Rory Gamble, GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford, Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett and FCA CEO Michael Manley will lead the task force.

“Workplace health and safety is a priority for us every day, and all three companies have been taking steps to keep the COVID-19/coronavirus out of their facilities and during this national emergency, we will do even more working together,” said Gamble, who convened the leaders of all three companies. “We are focused on doing the right thing for our people, their families, our communities and the country.”

In a joint statement, the leaders of GM, Ford and FCA said, “This is a fluid and unprecedented situation, and the task force will move quickly to build on the wide-ranging preventive measures we have put in place. We are all coming together to help keep our workforces safe and healthy.”

The joint task force’s areas of focus will include vehicle production plans, additional social distancing, break and cleaning schedules, health and safety education, health screening, food service and any other areas that have the potential to improve protections for employees.

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