NEW YORK - Bear Stearns said on Thursday it had lowered its full-year 2003 earnings forecast for General Motors because of weak March sales and the likelihood of further production cuts by the world's largest automaker.
In a research note, Bear Stearns auto analyst Domenic Martilotti said he had cut his 2003 earnings per share estimate for GM to $5.10 from $5.25.
Martilotti, who said GM's underfunded pension plan continues to be a burden on its cash and earnings, also said he had lowered his 12-month GM share-price target to $42 from $52. The stock closed Wednesday at $34.06.
The cut in GM's profit outlook was the latest in a series of lower EPS estimates from Wall Street analysts since March 3, when GM announced a 10.5 percent cut in its second-quarter North American production schedule compared with the same period a year ago.