Corp. Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner says the auto maker is not heading for bankruptcy, despite warnings from analysts that question the company’s liquidity as its stock prices continue to fall and cash reserves dwindle.
Following a speech yesterday at the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce, Wagoner tells reporters GM has “no thoughts whatsoever of bankruptcy.”
GM says it has $24 billion in cash and marketable securities on hand and is able to tap another $7 billion in credit. However, the auto maker reportedly is spending an estimated $3 billion a quarter as consumers shy away from large SUVs and trucks in the wake of escalating gasoline prices.
“Under any scenario we can imagine, our financial position, or cash position, will remain robust through the rest of the year,” Wagoner said Thursday. He also insists GM does not plan to sell any of its brands, other than Hummer, which the auto maker has put under strategic review.
Nevertheless, GM’s stock prices have been in a downward spiral, falling $0.44 to $9.25 at the opening of trading today on the New York Stock Exchange. The rapid decline in its stock price and market capitalization, now at $5.5 billion, resulted in Standard and Poor’s dropping the auto maker from its S&P 100 stock index on July 4.
While some financial analysts repeatedly warned the auto maker may be forced into bankruptcy, others are cautiously optimistic.
In a recent note from corporate-bond research firm Gimme Credit LLC,” analyst Shelly Lombard says GM has “become the Lindsay Lohan of the bond market,” describing the auto maker as “a former investment-grade star that now seems to be unraveling right before our eyes.
“The stock just fell to a 50-year low on concerns that GM will end up in bankruptcy, the corporate equivalent of rehab,” Lombard says, adding the company could be forced to file for bankruptcy late next year or in 2010 only under a worst-case scenario.
“We expect management to utilize any and every option it has to stay out of bankruptcy,” she says. “We believe GM wants to buy itself enough time for the benefits from its recent labor and health agreement and its new cars and crossovers to kick in. A bankruptcy would scare buyers away, eroding GM’s revenue and delaying a turnaround.”