Tuesday, November 25, 2008

UPDATE 1-JP Morgan widens '09 loss view for GM

Nov 25 (Reuters) - J.P. Morgan Securities widened its 2009 loss estimates for General Motors Corp (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on lower international earnings and likely higher interest costs from government debt.

J.P. Morgan forecasts a loss of $25.25 a share for the automaker for 2009, compared with its prior loss view of $22 per share.

The U.S. Congress has approved $25 billion in loans to help the auto industry change its U.S. factories to produce more fuel-efficient cars.

"We are deeply skeptical of the commercial prospects for government-dictated product plans," analyst Himanshu Patel said in a note, adding that the U.S. government's "focus on forcing GM to make greener cars is misguided."

The U.S. lawmakers are also pondering whether to provide a $25 billion aid package to help American automaker survive the current economic crisis.

J.P. Morgan expects the current Congress will authorize a short-term bridge loan that carries the Big Three -- GM, Ford Motor Co (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Chrysler, owned by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP [CBS.UL] -- to the Obama administration.

The brokerage expects the new administration will be "tasked with crafting a second bailout that may (should) be contingent on more comprehensive restructuring involving labor/creditors and perhaps brands/dealers."

The brokerage estimates U.S. light vehicle SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate) of 10.9 million units, or down 32 percent from the year-ago period, for November. SAAR is a closely tracked indicator of auto industry demand.

GM sales are expected to be down 30 percent, Ford down 34 percent, and Chrysler down 42 percent for November, the brokerage added. (Reporting by Jennifer Robin Raj in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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