UPDATE 1-Goldman, Lehman widen '08 loss estimates for GM

lunes 4 de agosto de 2008 15:17 CEST
 

(Recasts; adds details, Goldman comments)

Aug 4 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers widened their 2008 loss estimates for General Motors Corp (GM.N: Cotización), after the No. 1 U.S. automaker's disappointing quarterly results as North American sales dropped by 20 percent and resale prices for SUVs coming off lease plunged.

Goldman widened its 2008 loss-per-share estimate for the company to $18.41 from $6.74, while Lehman now sees a loss of $14.51 per share, compared with its earlier loss view of $6.60 per share.

Goldman said liquidity will remain an important concern among investors as 2008 second-half cash flow is likely to remain negative for the company.

Lehman said GM may need $3 billion to $4 billion of additional secured funding or asset sales, to remain above the company's $11 billion to $14 billion of minimum working cash needs. It estimated that the company should end 2009 with $12.7 billion of cash.

Lehman said with its revised 14.0 million unit SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate) for 2008, it sees more downside risk to the automaker's earnings and cash flow, with growing pressure to complete a financing and asset sale plan to provide sufficient liquidity through the downturn.

SAAR is a closely tracked indicator of auto industry demand.

Lehman cut its price target on GM stock to $11 from $19.50. It has an "equal weight" rating on the stock.

Goldman lowered its 6-month price target on the stock to $8 from $9, while maintaining its "sell" rating.

Shares of GM, which are down 59 percent since the start of the year, closed at $10.23 Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Dilipp S. Nag in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)