DETROIT — General Motors expects to boost earnings this year in the aftermath of a strong 2018 that the automaker said exceeded its guidance and internal expectations.
The healthy 2019 forecast includes earnings per share of $6.50-$7 and adjusted free cash flow between $4.5 billion and $6 billion. That compares with 2018 EPS guidance of $5.80 to $6.20 — a key indicator for Wall Street — and automotive free cash flow of $4 billion, which the automaker on Friday said it expects to beat when it reports year-end results on Feb. 6.
Wall Street liked the news, pushing GM shares up 7.1 percent to close Friday at $37.18.
GM's ongoing restructuring, which includes reducing its North American salaried workforce by 15 percent and closing up to five plants, will result in cost-savings between $2 billion and $2.5 billion this year, CFO Dhivya Suryadevara said during a media briefing Friday morning.
The automaker previously said it expects the restructuring to contribute $6 billion in cash savings by 2020 — $4.5 billion in cost reductions and $1.5 billion in lower capital expenditures.
GM, which is holding an investor day in New York, did not give exact financial guidance or expected sales for 2019. It expects total U.S. industry sales -- including medium- and heavy-duty trucks -- to be in the low 17-million range this year. Total industry sales last year were roughly 17.7 million, including light-vehicle sales of 17.3 million.
“We think we have a very, very strong product portfolio for this year, and really looking forward to getting those vehicles – trucks and crossovers – into the marketplace,” said GM CEO Mary Barra, referencing its redesigned pickups and upcoming Cadillac products, among other new or redesigned entries.
GM, according to Barra, is positioned to perform well “regardless of external factors” impacting the automaker and overall industry.