General Motors (GM) says U.S. auto sales slowed in the final three months of last year, pulling to a halt the momentum of a record annual performance.
The No. 1 U.S. automaker said Wednesday its third-quarter profit was hit hard by the shrinking availability of chips needed to build cars and trucks, resulting in a 30-cent per share hit to earnings.
GM reported a 9% decline in third-quarter net income to $2.3 billion and delivered earnings per share of $1.43. That compared with a consensus analyst estimate of $1.76, according to FactSet.
Before the report, GM shares were up 0.7% in premarket trading to $47.03.
Adjusted earnings, which exclude $1.14 per share in asset impairments and the loss on the sale of part of the Delphi automotive business, were $1.70 per share, compared with the $1.66 expected.
Overall sales in the period fell 2% to $42.8 billion. Without the property sale, GM sales would have slipped 0.7% to $43.8 billion.
The company cited a 10% decline in industrywide U.S. sales as the main cause for a 3% decline in U.S. deliveries. GM’s average transaction price, including incentives, rose to $33,500 from $32,500.
Last year, GM reported its best full-year sales since 2008 and its highest earnings in seven years. In 2017, the company took back its North American market share from Ford Motor Co. (F) after an uninterrupted period of being overtaken by its No. 2 rival.
However, North American operating profit fell 35% to $1.97 billion in the third quarter due to the chip shortage, which affected GM’s heavy-duty pickup trucks.