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General Motors beats Q2 Street estimates as pickups drive retail share gains

Strong pickup truck performance in North America drove General Motors Co.'s second-quarter earnings that beat Street estimates, the company reported Aug. 1.

For the three months through June 30, the Detroit-based automaker reported adjusted diluted EPS of $1.64, down 9.4% from $1.81 year over year but above the mean consensus estimate for normalized EPS of $1.45, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

GM said its light-duty pickup trucks gained nearly 3 percentage points of retail share in North America from the first quarter to the second quarter of 2019, and sales of its full-size pickup trucks were up double digits year over year.

"Our results demonstrate the earnings power of our full-size truck franchise, with more upside to come," GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said in the earnings release.

Income on an EBIT-adjusted basis came in at $3.01 billion, down 5.6% from $3.19 billion in the second quarter of 2018 but ahead of the mean consensus estimate for EBIT income of $2.74 billion.

The automaker reported net revenue of $36.06 billion for the quarter, down 1.9% year over year from $36.76 billion. This narrowly beat the mean consensus estimate for revenue of $36.03 billion, according to Market Intelligence.

GM's GAAP net income rose 1.6% year over year to $2.42 billion, up from $2.39 billion. GAAP diluted EPS for the quarter was $1.66, the same as the second quarter of 2018.

GM Executive Vice President and CFO Dhivya Suryadevara said the company expects the second half of the year to be stronger than the first half.

"Our confidence in our full-year outlook is based on our strong full-size truck rollout, other key launches and ongoing cost savings," Suryadevara said.

The automaker announced in November 2018 its plan to reduce salaried staff in North America while cutting down on car production and closing several assembly plants as it focuses on larger vehicles, electrification and autonomous technology. As a result, GM said at the time it expects to save approximately $6 billion. So far, the automaker said it has saved $1.1 billion.

Shares of GM were up 2.85% at $41.49 in pre-market trading on the New York Stock Exchange.