DETROIT – Shares of General Motors Corp. (GM) fell more than 3 percent on Tuesday as analysts remained skeptical of a turnaround at the auto giant after it announced plant closings and job cuts that would save billions of dollars.
Bank of America analyst Ron Tadross reiterated his "sell" rating on the stock after the world's largest automaker said on Monday it would close a dozen operations and cut 30,000 North American manufacturing jobs as part of a broader restructuring plan.
Tadross also said he continues to anticipate a 40 percent chance of bankruptcy over the next two years.
Commerzbank AG said it continues to see a sale of GM's finance arm as crucial to the company's ability to avoid bankruptcy over the next two years.
"Though much of the market disagrees that GM has a sustainable long-term future outside of bankruptcy (including us) crucially GM's management clearly believes that it does," Commerzbank's Credit Research department wrote in a research note.
GM shares, which have lost more than 40 percent of their value this year, were down 75 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $22.83 in Tuesday trade.
"The company's enthusiasm for these cuts appears tied to an anticipation of flat North American revenues/market share, which we do not believe will happen," Tadross said.
GM has been struggling with high health-care and commodities costs, loss of U.S. market share to foreign rivals and stalled sales of its large sport utility vehicles due to high gasoline prices.
"We continue to believe GM cannot close the $3,500 margin gap between it and Toyota Motor Corp. cost effectively," Tadross said, referring to the Japanese automaker many say will surpass GM as the world's largest automaker in the next few years.
Merrill Lynch analyst John Casesa said the cuts were in line with expectations and only the beginning of a long restructuring process.
"However, it will likely get worse before it gets better. We believe GM's announced restructuring plan is only the first step in the long process," he added.
GM also said it will take a restructuring charge on the cuts, but did not provide any specifics. Casesa said he expects the total charges to range from $1 billion to $2 billion. That, he said, "is a tough number to justify without tangible results."