General Motors’ chief financial officer, Dan Ammann, said in an interview with Reuters on Monday that the nation’s largest automaker is getting closer to reinstating its common stock dividend after restrictions put in place by the federal government’s bailout of GM prevented it from issuing its regular shareholder payouts.
Ammann, however, didn’t disclose any further details about when the dividend would be executed. ”It’s clear to us that investors are anticipating a dividend,” he said to the news service. “We’re closer than we have been given all the actions that we have taken, investment grade rating, all of that. When we have something to announce we’ll do it.”
The last General Motors dividend was paid out in May 2008. The next rumored payout will in likely happen under new CEO Mary Barra, who is scheduled to take over the company from Dan Akerson on Wednesday.
Ammann told Reuters that he believes the European car market — which has posed problems for automakers around the globe — has bottomed out, but he wasn’t sure how fast it would rebound. The CFO that GM continues to believe it will break even in Europe by mid-decade; the company is currently losing money on its European operations.
The company recently made the decision to cease the sale of the Chevrolet brand in Europe as well as limit its partnership with PSA Peugeot Citroen so it would be more able to focus on its Opel unit and help it return to profitability. That’s only a portion of what Barra has to look forward to when she takes over: she must also keep the momentum in China moving along and continue the great revitalization of GM’s domestic operations in the meantime.