GM stock ends at record after auto maker says first half will be ‘significantly better’

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General Motors Co. stock ended at a record high Thursday after the auto maker said it expects a “significantly better” first half of 2021 than it previously thought and that it hopes to increase vehicle deliveries in the U.S. and Canada.

GM GM, +6.39% reiterated that it will resume the production of full-size pickup trucks at a plant in Canada, and said its ongoing efforts to sidestep chip shortages — as well as some chip deliveries being received ahead of schedule — have improved the outlook.

“GM is optimistic about the full year” and will share more information in its second-quarter earnings report on Aug. 4, the company said.

Despite that optimism, GM also said the ongoing chip shortage will continue to hamper production at some plants in North America and overseas through June and July.

“The global semiconductor shortage remains complex and very fluid, but the speed, agility and commitment of our team, including our dealers, has helped us find creative ways to satisfy customers,” said Phil Kienle, GM’s vice president of North America manufacturing and labor relations, in a statement.

“Customer demand continues to be very strong, and GM’s engineering, supply chain and manufacturing teams have done a remarkable job maximizing production of high-demand and capacity-constrained vehicles,” he said.

Shares of GM have gained 52% so far this year and 118% in the past 12 months, compared with gains around 12% and 34% for the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.36% in the same periods.

The stock traded as high as $63.68 on Thursday, setting a new record intraday high, based on available data back to November 2010. Closing up 6.4%, the shares also notched their largest one-day percentage increase since Jan. 19, when they rose 9.75%.