In the past four years, the S&P 500 has rallied 70 percent. In that kind of market, auto stocks should be a no-brainer. But shares of one of the largest carmakers have been a downright head-scratcher.
Since its IPO on Nov. 17, 2010, GM shares are down 2 percent, this as the world's largest automaker, Toyota, posted gains of 56 percent.
But with the stock now trading at 7.5 times next year's expected earnings, and many of the recall issues starting to move into the rearview mirror, GM may look enticing to buy. Yet one large fund manager is staying away.
"We do not own GM and are not looking to add it here," said Erin Gibbs, equity chief investment officer at S&P Capital IQ Global Markets Intelligence. "There is still significant headline risk and further ignition switch recall costs hitting the bottom line in 2015."
GM'S profits are expected to grow 64 percent next year compared with 2014, according to FactSet, but investors should take a closer look, she cautioned. "Revenue is only expected to grow 1.7 percent for fiscal year 2015," said Gibbs, who has over $13 billion in assets under advisory. "This means that its impressive expected earnings growth is coming almost exclusively from lower expected expenses. I don't see it as a value," she added. "I don't see it as a turnaround yet, and I would avoid it. We don't hold it in any of our client portfolios."
The technicals on GM are also negative, according to Todd Gordon, founder of TradingAnalysis.com. In fact, he's betting his money against the stock.
"I'm actually short this stock with clients," said Gordon, a CNBC contributor.
Taking a top-down approach, Gordon first looked at a chart of the consumer discretionary sector ETF (trading under the ticker symbol XLY), of which GM represents 2percent of the assets, and divided it by the S&P 500. The result shows the relative strength of the sector compared with the overall market. The higher the chart moves, the stronger the sector is. Likewise, the lower it moves, the weaker it is.
"What we're seeing is a consistent underperformance of discretionary relative to S&P," Gordon said. "That's cause for concern."
Meanwhile, the Gordon's chart of GM also shows the stock itself is facing resistance. "We have a long-term downtrend going on right now," he said. "There is a broken base right around that $32.80 level. That should hold as resistance."
Gordon is targeting $30 per share. The stock closed at $32.31 on Monday.
"I'm personally short, looking for a push down," he said.