Friday, August 27, 2010

Financially Forward

GM is preparing an IPO that promises to be a real circus.  I'm not certain at all that it's going to be the miracle that some are hoping for.

  That didn't happen in this case, so the company has unfunded pension obligations to the tune of $27 billion whose bill is due in 2014. Long term, this puts it at a major competitive disadvantage against its non-unionized overseas rivals: Toyota ( TM - news people ), Honda ( HMC - news -people ), Volkswagen ( VLKAF.PK - news people ) and Hyundai.

Investors might overlook this if the company were otherwise sound and on a growth trajectory. That, however, is not the case. Indeed, in its application to the Securities and Exchange Commission--which, guess what, will come through just in time to make an IPO possible before the November elections!--GMadmits that its "disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting are currently not effective." And this "could materially affect our financial condition and ability to carry out our business plan."