) shares rallied on a positive research note from Goldman Sachs.
Analyst Gary Lapidus says the markets have bailed out General Motors' pension plan, likely more than investors realize. He thinks the good news should be revealed on a Dec. 12 conference call. The call will highlight GM's improved funded status and a big decrease in the 2004 pension expense, which raises the specter of positive 2004 earnings per share revisions. Although GM, the world's largest automaker, won't issue a 204 outlook during the call, it should describe how the 2004 pension expense could decline.
As a result, GM's 204 earnings per share estimate could be revised up by 50 cents, to $1.00, vs. his $5.20 estimate, though he isn't making any changes to his estimates yet. Lapidus says the potential pension-expense revision isn't priced into the stock and may support a near-term rally in the shares.