November 5, 2020

GM posts $4bn profit and raises prospect of dividend next year

General Motors said it may resume paying dividends next year after a recovery in the global car market drove its third-quarter profits higher.

The Detroit automaker’s net income surged 74 per cent to $4bn from the same period a year ago, even as revenue stayed flat at just under $36bn. Adjusted earnings per share climbed 65 per cent to $2.83, surpassing the $1.83 a share forecast by the 12 analysts polled by FactSet.

Chief executive Mary Barra said the quarter’s performance was driven by the industry’s recovery in the US and China, as well as strong average transaction prices, especially for pick-ups.

“If our current recovery continues, we anticipate reinstating a
dividend at the appropriate level, that balances various capital
allocation priorities,” Ms Barra said. “We know this is a priority for
investors,” she added.

GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler all shut down factories in the spring as the first wave of Covid-19 infections swept through the US. The production halt tightened the supply of vehicles, and since the plants reopened, the Big Three automakers have scrambled to meet demand.

Some of the higher pricing is a sign that GM’s push to reach a broader market, including buyers of luxury

ESPN to lay off 300 people. Here’s the memo

ESPN is going through another round of layoffs.

CNBC obtained a memo in which ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro announced to staffers that roughly 300 people will be laid off as parent company Disney shifts to more direct-to-consumer streaming. The memo follows internal discussions about layoffs related to Covid-19.

ESPN will also part ways with some on-air talent once contracts expire.

“As you know, we value transparency in our internal dialogue, and that means in both good and challenging times,” Pitaro wrote in the memo. “After much consideration, I have some difficult organizational decisions to share. We will be reducing our workforce, impacting approximately 300 valued team members, in addition to 200 open positions.

The network, which employs roughly 6,000 people worldwide, also released a statement Thursday from Pitaro confirming the layoffs.

Disney’s stock price was up more than 2{6b17707e448e34f54d6d1a9e433426abf2addbba8938cba1c35a09fc0ada7803} Thursday.

Reports surfaced last week that the network could suffer more layoffs, as its parent company is focuses more on its streaming service. Other legacy media companies have had similar rounds of layoffs related to the pandemic and the shift to streaming this year.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek hinted at a possible reduction in staff as the company restructures its media …