By Paul Lienert and Joseph White
(Reuters) -General Motors Co’s first-quarter profit beat analyst estimates on Tuesday, as the automaker focused on sales of more expensive models with higher margins, even with production still limited by chip shortages and supply chain disruptions.
GM earned $2.9 billion in the quarter, compared with analysts’ estimates of $2.45 billion, and expects full-year net income of $9.6 billion to $11.2 billion.
GM reaffirmed full-year outlook for adjusted EBIT of $13.0 billion to $15.0 billion.
Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra, in a letter to shareholders, said: “Our confidence is strong as we accelerate our transformation, even in the face of a challenging macro environment.”
GM said its first-quarter results were driven by “improved production and robust customer demand in North America.”
The automaker said higher prices increased North American pre-tax profit by $2.1 billion, but that was not enough to fully offset the impact of $2.5 billion in higher costs.
“We continue to see a strong pricing opportunity because there is demand for our product,” Barra said during a conference call.
Barra said she expects that despite supply chain problems, GM still will be able to make 25%-30% more vehicles this year than last year.
“There still is volatility in chips,” Barra said on a call with media. “We’ve seen an improvement in Q1 over Q4. We think we’ll continue to see a stronger chip supply in the second half of the year.”
On the same day that rival Ford Motor Co launched regular production of its new F-150 Lightning electric pickup, Barra said GM has received 140,000 reservations for the new Chevrolet Silverado EV truck that is still nearly a year away from production.
GM’s first-quarter revenue of $36 billion was up 11% from $32.5 billion a year ago. Diluted earnings per share were $1.35, compared with $2.03 a year earlier, while EPS-diluted-adjusted was $2.09 compared with $2.25 a year ago.
GM said it expects full-year EPS-diluted of $5.76 to $6.76, and EPS-diluted-adjusted of $6.50 to $7.50.
GM shares were down 0.1% in after-hours trade at $38.
(Reporting by Paul Lienert, Joe White and Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Chris Reese, Jonathan Oatis and Bernard Orr)