Why is GM's Wagoner Back on the Hot Seat?

| About: General Motors (GM)

It's looking like Rick Wagoner is back on the hot seat for some on Wall Street, as shares of General Motors (NYSE:GM) were north of $40 a month ago, and are now back under $30.

John D. Stoll has a great article on Wagoner and GM in The Wall Street Journal.

It's a bit frustrating that GM stock is now basically back to where it was when I first recommended it in April 2005 at $26.75. (My personal average cost is in the low $30s since I originally bought a chunk at $37 in February of that year. But, hey, maybe I should stop typing.) GM traded in the teens not too long after I first mentioned it in my blog.

At this point you'll see me writing something that I have said before: I think GM is a supertanker, and it takes a lot to turn one of those around. With GM being a major turnaround, we sometimes take two steps forward, and then one step back. It may feel like one step forward and two back, but that's not the way I see it right now.

If you're a fellow GM shareholder at entry prices similar to mine, my advice is to stay patient, and continue taking the long-term view. That's what I'm doing. You have to make up your own mind.

Here is an excerpt from the linked WSJ piece:

Some investors say GM's long-term outlook remains encouraging. "The silver lining is that on the automotive side of things, the business model is probably a lot better," BNP Paribas automotive-trading specialist Brad Rubin says. "If they hadn't done the restructuring, GM would have without doubt had to file Chapter 11." Instead, Mr. Rubin says, "GM weathered that storm."

"I think there is a lot of concern around ResCap," ValueWorks Chief Investment Officer Charles Lemonides says, noting there are short positions in about 50 million GM shares, or nearly 10% of the shares outstanding. Still, Mr. Lemonides, whose firm owns 300,000 GM shares, insists, "Sure there is a lot of risk, but it doesn't exist to GM shareholders. [And] even if there were a risk to us, General Motors Corp. is still a buy at $27."

Disclosure: The author owns GM.

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