If you’re a big company like General Motors, you’ve always been obligated to deliver that dividend to shareholders no matter what. That’s why short-sighted investments like the Cadillac Cimarron happened.
So General Motors has had to look at the bigger picture, step back, and realize that a $700 million net profit for the third quarter of 2013 isn’t that bad, especially in light of the fact that number was $1.5 billion this time last year.
The General says that special items and tax expenses were attributable to this decline. Special items could include everything from tooling for new model lines–expensive–to bribing government leaders overseas, which is still legal in some parts of the world. That, of course, is just speculation and is in no way meant to be taken seriously, but GM hasn’t exactly said what those items were. As for taxes, the company could have shuffled around the taxes on an item bought and depreciated them to this quarter instead of paying for all of it on the spot. Accounting is weird and confusing; leave it to the professionals to figure this stuff out.
In much more positive and wholly less confusing news, GM’s revenue was up on the quarter from $37.6 billion to $39 billion. Adjusted free automotive cash flow also increased by $100 million to $1.3 billion. That’s more money that General Motors will have to dump into future vehicle development. Customer loan delinquencies are down two percent, global market share is up by 0.1 percent to 11.7 percent, and global vehicle deliveries are up for the quarter by 125,000 to 2.398 million.
So life’s good at General Motors, and it will get better soon with the introduction of the new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickup trucks next year as well as the redesigned Chevrolet Cruze. Despite the federal government reconciling a $9.7 billion loss on GM after its 2009 bailout, hopefully the company will continue looking at the long-term picture and keep profits rolling in.