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Japan and High Oil Prices Hurting Us: GM's Akerson

Daniel Akerson, Managing Director of The Carlyle Group
Source: mason.wm.edu
Daniel Akerson, Managing Director of The Carlyle Group

With shares of GM slipping under $30, there's an interesting, and potentially troubling question, for GM and it's investors. How much further will the stock drop?

Reports that the U.S. Treasury plans to sell another sizable chunk of GM this summer clearly adds to the pressure on the stock today.

This comes off of persistent questions about how much GM sales will suffer as the company pulls back on hefty incentives used to goose business in January and February.

Add in the concern consumer confidence is flagging a bit, and you see why many investors are hesitant about GM shares right now.

CEO Dan Akerson took the standard questions you'd expect about his company's stock price at the NADA conference in New York. Akerson told me, "Oil has spiked. That has put a cold chill on the markets generally. Specific to our industry, we have this horrific catastrophe in Japan, which threw a lot of uncertainty into I think the investment community as it surrounds the (auto makers) in our industry."

The truth is, Akerson and his team are still being judged by investors. Until they post earnings for several quarters, there's going to be a fair amount of skepticism.

Remember, when the GM IPO took place last November, nearly every analyst on wall street said the same thing: the new GM has no track record.

That's still the case. And until we see GM put up earnings over a few more quarters, it won't be easy to gauge investor sentiment for GM shares.

And with the Treasury department selling GM shares this summer there will be a steady drum beat of headlines about GM's stock being under pressure.

For Akerson, there's not much he and his team can do with the stock sliding under $30. Akerson summed it up saying, "Its tough but at the same time, we’re persisting."

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