GM 3Q results top expectations on strong truck, crossover sales

General Motors said Wednesday strong sales of full-size trucks and crossover vehicles in the third quarter boosted profit and revenue for the period.

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The company earned $1.87 per share on revenue of $35.79 billion. Analysts had expected the largest U.S. carmaker to report $1.25 per share on revenue of $34.85 billion, according to Refinitiv.

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In the year-earlier quarter the Detroit-based corporation earned an adjusted $1.32 per share on sales of $33.62 billion.

GM said it expects full-year earnings per share of $5.80 and $6.20 vs. a prior view of approximately $6, noting potential upside from strong performance and a favorable tax rate.

The news follows third-quarter results from Ford and Tesla that topped analyst expectations.

GM said U.S. sales in the July-September quarter fell 11 percent to 694,638. The company's reduced incentive spending and increased sales of higher-margin trucks and SUVs in the quarter resulted in average transaction prices rising by approximately $700 to $35,974.

GM North America posted strong margins of 10.2 percent in the third quarter, driven by an increase in average transaction prices that rose to record third-quarter highs.

In China, General Motors and its joint ventures delivered 835,934 vehicles in the third quarter. Sales in China were down 14.9 percent from a year earlier due to the softening vehicle market.

GM, which employees more than 180,000 people and has operations on five continents, on Tuesday declared a fourth-quarter 2018 dividend of $0.38, which is payable Dec. 20, 2018.

"Our disciplined approach to the U.S. market, combined with strength in China and further growth of GM Financial, drove a very strong quarter," Dhivya Suryadevara, chief financial officer, said in a statement. "We will continue to take actions to mitigate headwinds including foreign currency volatility and commodity costs.”