But then the Street got around to actually looking at the details and they decided things weren't so bad for GM after all. And, two hours into the trading day, the stock turned positive.
GM's fourth-quarter earnings were $0.67 per share, excluding a $0.10 one-time charge. That was better than the previous year's $0.57 earnings but it's nowhere near the $0.88 analysts were expecting. Revenues also missed Wall Street's numbers. The company's top line in the last quarter was $40.5 billion, about $580 million below consensus estimates.
What was that one-time charge that took $0.10 of earnings away from every share? It was part of the company's termination of brands in Europe and manufacturing operations in Australia.
In North America, the company's pre-tax earnings were $1.9 billion for the quarter, $800 million more than the previous year. Even its troubled European operations improved $500 million compared to last year; this year Europe only lost the company $300 million before taxes, compared to 2012's $800 million deficit.
CNBC contributor Gina Sanchez, founder of Chantico Global, thinks General Motors is on the right track and still likes the stock.
"Part of the reason for their earnings miss had to do with about a $700 million that they took for shutting down the Chevrolet brand in Germany," says Sanchez. "In the end, is going to be quite positive because they've had quite a confused brand strategy in Europe."
Sanchez notes that the company remained more profitable in the US and is under new leadership, with CEO Mary T. Barra taking the helm of the company three weeks ago.
"Barra has just come in and she kicked off a number of management changes throughout GM that I think will be quite positive," says Sanchez, who believes the market is underestimating the company's future.
"This stock is pricing in a recession," says Sanchez. "We're not going into a recession. So, I think at 8.3 times [price-to-earnings multiple], I think this is an interesting stock."
(See: CNBC's Autos coverage)
Jeff Tomasulo, Managing Partner of Belpointe Alternative Investments, believes GM's stock charts are telling a different story.
"Price tells everything and right now, price is saying it's very bearish," says Tomasulo. "GM had a great move all the way up in 2013 and at the end [of the year] it made its 52-week high. Since then, we're down almost 16%– double of what the S&P is down."
Tomasulo says he's concerned that the stock broke below its technically significant 50-day and 200-day moving average. It is now relatively close to what he sees as key support between $33.50 and $34 per share. For those who believe that the fundamentals are positive and will win the day with the stock, those levels can be used as entry points, according to Tomasulo.
"You can buy a little bit of GM right now," says Tomasulo. "Put a stop underneath those levels. I think you could actually use Gina's fundamental analysis and maybe make some money."
To see the full discussion on General Motors with Sanchez on the fundamentals and Tomasulo on the technicals, watch the video above.
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