General Motors Announces Global Sales Total and Boeing Faces Another 787 Battery Problem

General Motors is slipping today despite recent sales and dividend announcements. Also, is Boeing about to have more Dreamliner problems?

Jan 15, 2014 at 3:00PM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is trading 0.75% higher at 3 p.m. EST after some upbeat earnings and as U.S. producer prices rose 0.4% in December, reversing course after two consecutive months of declines. Prices were only up 1.2% last year, which was the smallest increase since 2008, showing that inflation pressures appear to be under control. As earnings season continues to ramp up, here are some companies making headlines today.


Boeing's 787 Dreamliner. Photo credit: Boeing.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) has hundreds of millions of dollars riding on the success of its troubled 787 Dreamliner. Roughly nine months after battery troubles forced the 787 line to be grounded, another incident surfaced this week. Smoke was reported aboard a Boeing 787 at Tokyo's Narita Interntional Airport.

Tuesday's incident "appears to have involved the venting of a single battery cell" and occurred during scheduled maintenance activities with no passengers on board," according to a Boeing statement quoted by CNN. "The improvements made to the 787 battery system last year appear to have worked as designed."

This is the last thing investors want to hear after previous battery problems, as well as 787 production delays and budget overruns. So far this doesn't appear to be as widespread problem as seen nine months ago, but it will be something to keep an eye on as the situation unfolds.

Outside the Dow, General Motors (NYSE:GM) is making multiple headlines this week. Late yesterday, GM's board of directors declared the automaker's first quarterly dividend since 2008, at $0.30 per share. That's a yield of roughly 3%, right in line with cross-town rival Ford (NYSE:F) and more than double the yields of Japanese competitors Toyota and Honda.


Chevrolet's Silverado and Corvette Stingray took home Car and Truck of the year awards at the 2014 NAIAS. Photo credit: GM.

General Motors also announced that it delivered 9.7 million vehicles across the globe last year; that's a final tally that will top Volkswagen but likely fall short of Toyota's No. 1 spot. The 4% gain in vehicles delivered was led by sales in China and the United States. General Motors also plans to keep launching a healthy number of vehicles.

"A healthy auto market in the United States and China, and very successful product launches at all of our brands worldwide drove GM's growth in 2013 and helped us navigate difficult conditions in Europe and parts of South America and Asia," new GM President Dan Ammann said in a press release.

General Motors last year launched 18 vehicles in the U.S., and this year it plans to roll out another 15 new or upgraded models. GM and its joint ventures will unleash 17 new or upgraded models this year in China, and will bring four additiona plants online through 2015 to bring its total production capacity to 5 million annual units. For comparison, GM delivered 3.1 million units in China last year.

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Fool contributor Daniel Miller owns shares of Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool recommends Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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