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Essay/Term paper: General motors - financial ratio analysis

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Economics

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General Motors - Financial Ratio Analysis

I. General Motors History Highlights

In its early years the automobile industry consisted of hundreds of firms, each
producing a few models. William Durant, who bought and reorganized a failing
Buick Motors in 1904, determined that if several automobile makers would unite,
it would increase the protection for the group. He formed the General Motors
Company in Flint, Michigan, in 1908.

Durant had bought 17 companies (including Oldsmobile, Cadillac, and Pontiac) by
1910, the year a bankers' syndicate forced him to step down. In a 1915 stock
swap, he regained control through Chevrolet, a company he had formed with race
car driver Louis Chevrolet. GM created the GM Acceptance Corporation (auto
financing) and acquired a number of businesses, including Fisher Body,
Frigidaire (sold in 1979), and a small bearing company, Hyatt Roller Bearing.
With the Hyatt acquisition came Alfred Sloan, an administrative genius who would
build GM into a corporate colossus.

Sloan, president from 1923 to 1937, implemented a decentralized management
system, now emulated worldwide. The auto maker competed by offering models
ranging from luxury to economy, colors besides black, and yearly style
modifications. By 1927 it had become the industry leader.

GM introduced a line of front-wheel-drive compacts in 1979. Under Roger Smith,
CEO from 1981 to 1990, GM laid off thousands of workers as part of a massive
companywide restructuring and cost cutting program.

In 1984 GM formed NUMMI with Toyota as an experiment to see if Toyota's
manufacturing techniques would work in the US. The joint venture's first car was
the Chevy Nova. GM bought Ross Perot's Electronic Data Systems (1984) and Hughes
Aircraft (1986). In 1989 the company bought 50% of Saab Automobile.

In 1990 GM launched Saturn, its first new nameplate since 1926, reflecting a new
companywide emphasis on quality. Two years later it made the largest stock
offering in US history, raising $2.2 billion. Culminating a period of boardroom
coups (relating to the company's lagging effort to reduce costs) in the early
1990s, John Smith replaced Robert Stempel as CEO.

NBC apologized in 1993 for improprieties in its expose alleging that GM pickups
equipped with "sidesaddle" gas tanks tended to explode upon side impact. The
government nonetheless asked the company to recall 4.7 million trucks. A
unanimous federal appeals court in 1995 overturned the settlement of a national
class action suit involving the pickups. That year GM sold its National Car
Rental business to a group of investors led by former Chrysler executive William

In 1996 the United Auto Workers struck at 2 GM plants in Ohio over the company's
increasing its outsourcing of brake parts. The strike lasted 17 days, idling 24
of the automaker's 29 North American plants (reflecting the vulnerability of
just-in-time supply chains), and ended with neither side satisfied.

GM sued Volkswagen in 1996, alleging the German automaker encouraged former GM
executive Ignacio Lopez to defect to Volkswagen with boxes of proprietary
company information. The bitter dispute led to Lopez's resignation from
Volkswagen and was resolved in early 1997 when VW agreed to pay GM $100 million
and purchase $1 billion of parts from GM over 7 years. In 1996 GM spun off EDS
(with a market value of $27 billion) to shareholders. Also that year GM agreed
to sell 4 of its parts plants to Peregrine Inc. (formed by investment firm
Joseph Littlejohn & Levy) for an undisclosed amount. In late 1996 GM began
producing Chevrolet Blazers in Russia.

II. General Information


BMW, British Aerospace, Chrysler, Daimler-Benz, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia,
Motors, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Renault, Suzuki, Toyota,
Volkswagen and Volvo.


Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Geo, GMC, Oldsmobile, Opel/Vauxhall, Pontiac and

Other Operations Delphi Automotive Systems (vehicle components) General Motors
Acceptance Corporation (financing and insurance) Hughes Electronics Corporation
(electronic systems) International Operations (autos for foreign markets) North
American Operations (autos for North America)

III. Statistics & Financial Summary

1995 Sales
$ mil. % of total Manufactured
products 143,666 85 Financial services
11,664 7 Computer systems services 8,531
5 Other 4,968 3 Total
168,829 100

1995 Vehicle Unit Deliveries No. (000's) % of total US
4,895 59 Europe
1,725 21 Latin America, Africa & the Middle East 647
8 Asia & Pacific 624 7 Canada
385 5 Mexico
48 0 Total 8,324

1993 1994 1995 Sales ($
mil.) 133,622 150,592 163,861 Net income ($
mil.) 2,466 5,659 6,933 Income as % of sales
1.8% 3.8% 4.2% Earnings per share ($)
2.13 6.20 7.28 Stock price - high ($) 57.13
65.38 53.13 Stock price - low ($) 32.00
36.13 37.25 Stock price - close ($) 54.88 42.13
52.88 P/E - high 27 11
7 P/E - low 15 6 5
Dividends per share ($) 0.80 0.80 1.10 Book
value per share ($) 5.28 11.64 18.05 Employees
750,000 692,800 709,000

1995 Year End * Debt ratio: 61.1% * Return on equity: 29.7% * Cash ($ mil.):
11,044 * Current ratio: 1.70 * Long-term debt ($ mil.): 36,675 * No. of shares
(mil.): 753 * Dividend yield: 2.1% * Dividend pay out: 15.1% * Market value ($
mil.): 39,819

IV. Financial Ratios


Net Working Capital (000's)
Current Assets - Current Liabilities
Current Ratio
Current Assets / Current Liabilities
Quick Ratio
(Current Assets - Inventory) / Current Liabilities

Inventory Turnover
Cost of Goods Sold / Inventory
Average Collection Period

Accounts Receivable / Avg Sales Per Day
Average Payment Period

Fixed Asset Turnover

Sales / Net Fixed Assets
Total Asset Turnover

Sales / Total Assets DEBT

Debt Ratio
Total Liabilities / Total Assets
Debt Equity Ratio
Long Term Debt / Stock Holders Equity
Times Interest Earned Ratio
Earnings before interest & Taxes / Interest
Fixed Payment Coverage Ratio


Gross Profit Margin
(Sales - Cost of Goods Sold) / Sales
Operating Profit Margin
Operating Profits / Sales
Net Profit Margin
Net Profits After Taxes / Total Assets
Return on Total Assets (ROA)
Net Profits After Taxes / Stockholders Equity
Return on Equity (ROE)
Net Profits after Taxes / Stockholders Equity
Earnings per Share
Market Price P/ Share of Common Stock / EPS
Price/Earnings Ratio (P/E)

Note : Financial Statements are attached V. Ratio Analysis


General Motors overall liquidity has decreased when compared to 1994,
but is still at a much higher level when compared to 1993. Their net working
capital has increased 516% compared to 1993.
Their ability to meet short term obligations is also higher than 1993 by
12 basis points, but is lower than 1994 mainly because their current liabilities
increased in a higher pace than their current assets.
The Quick Ratio otherwise did not follow the same trend as the previous
ratios, where the difference to 1993 is of only 1 basis point. The difference
here is mainly because of the higher amount in inventories that may indicate an
increase in inventory prices or volume.


The inventory liquidity has been declining for the last two years, while
the cost of goods sold increased during the same period. This trend indicates
that the inventory cost or volume has increased.
The accounts receivable has improved when compared to 1993, where it
decreased from 53 to 49 days.
The fixed asset turnover has decreased from 3.90 in 1993 to 2.50 in 1995,
which may indicate a higher investment in fixed assets which are not being
maximized in productivity.
The Total Asset Turnover has been improving for the last two years
because of the better management of current assets..


The Debt Ratio has decreased for the last two years going from 0.96 to
0.88 mainly due to the reduction of the total liabilities, indicating that the
level of creditor financing has improved.
The stock holders equity has increased dramatically indicating the
better management of the companies equity.
The EBIT has improved for the last two year mainly because the level of
interest paid has decreased due to the reduction of liabilities.

The Gross Profit Margin has increased from 1993 to 1994 as the cost of
goods sold did not increase at the same level that the sales increased. The
Operating Profit Margin ratio was stable in 1995 when compared to 1994 and the
Net Profit Margin has also been improving for the last two years.
The Return on Total Assets has increased due the increase in the
companies profitability, while Return on Equity has decreased on the last two
years as the stockholders equity increased


It is clear that the profitability of the company has been increasing
for the last 2 years, mainly due to the decrease in liabilities, improvement in
accounts receivable and better management of the company debt..
The company also demonstrates that the profitability can be improved
even further by having better inventory management and productivity maximization
on their fixed assets.


Financial Statements (America On Line) Last Quote (America On Line) Stock Graph
(2 Years - America On Line)


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