Let’s start a pool: At what point in the future will General Motors (GM) ignominiously join Eastman Kodak (EK), Woolworth and others and get tossed out of he Dow Jones Industrials?

And, who will replace them?

I am betting this happens within 5 years, and perhaps even within 3.

As to the replacement, I might have said Google (GOOG) — but I assume the DJ Editors learned their lesson top ticking Microsoft (MSFT) and Intel (INTC). 

Instead, my bet will be Cisco (CSCO).

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What say ye?


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(Ignore the $38B write down — thats primarily a tax issue):

 GM Will Book $39 Billion Charge Write-Down of Tax Credits
Indicates That Profits Won’t Come in Near Term
JOHN D. STOLL
WSJ, November 7, 2007; Page A3
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119438884709884385.html

Category: Corporate Management, Economy, Financial Press, Markets, Valuation

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

27 Responses to “When Does GM Get Kicked Out of the DJIA?”

  1. Scott Frew says:

    Barry–

    As far as the writedown being primarily a tax matter, I’m going to differ with you. In line with your post yesterday about the banks/brokers and they’re “fictitious” earnings, GM’s total earnings since 1993 are a little over $40 billion. This writedown essentially means they’ve been profitless for a very long time, and if you look at what’s happened to their balance sheet over that period–well, it ain’t pretty.

    This is also a recognition that there are no earnings forthcoming for them in the forseeable future. Accounting rules require that you can’t hold deferred tax assets on your books indefinitely if you have no reasonable expectation of ever producing profits against which to apply them. That’s what’s going on here, and I’m sure this decision was forced on management by the auditors.

    Rgds.

    PS You don’t think Baidu or Alibaba replaces them in the Dow? How about PetroChina?

  2. Scott Frew says:

    correction: their fictitious earnings

  3. W.Edwards says:

    Help me out here.

    Deferred tax asset ==> amount of taxes they wouldn’t have to pay if they earned future income. After the DTA write-down, shareholder equity is $(41.8) billion. How does this company even remain in business?! There’s no way future business prospects are so good to eventually this short-fall AND provide a reasonable return to it’s investors.

    What am I missing?!

  4. dblwyo says:

    Barry – it’s almost to early to be that flippant. But also sad but true. Cisco is a great candidate. Think back to the end of the 90s – the poster children were Schwab, Dell, Cisco and WMT representing exemplars for their industries in business performance. Dell’s in deep dodo and denial, WMT is struggling with acceptance of a broken bizzmod that needs adaptation and innovation. Schwab went thru a huge near-death experience and a bottoms-up re-think and Cisco used to be about plumbing and redid it’s target markets, it’s products from “just” routers and the way it runs itself. They’re a darn good candidate.
    Broader review and context/discussion here:
    http://tinyurl.com/39wlh7
    But as the last few major announcements (Time-Warner, MER, Citi) point out this issue of how you run a business well is going to come front and center IMHO. Another round of breakups ain’t gonna cut it – instead each line of business will have to perform and then work together or get spun.
    My version of a blueprint for thinking Buffett-like on the problem is: Think Like an Owner: http://tinyurl.com/33flfg.
    Hopefully not to far off topic because I think it’s central.
    Sadly – I’ve worked with GM and had friends who were execs. Smart folks who knew and know they’ve got major problems but can’t fight their way out of the bureaucratic straight jackets.

  5. worth says:

    AAPL – has same issue as GOOG though. CSCO’s a solid choice, builder of the internet infrastructure itself, so no argument there.

  6. rjrj says:

    My company Cummins. :)

  7. Winston Munn says:

    I’m taking the under: two years.

    The replacement will most likely be a basket of hedonically adjusted corporations.

  8. Andy says:

    Toyota. heh heh.

  9. Ross says:

    Cisco, Pancho, what makes the difference? DJIA has long outlived its usefulness.

  10. Old Ari says:

    “What’s good for General Motors, is good for America”.

  11. Isaac says:

    A tranch of CDOs?

  12. Justin Clark says:

    They’ll be thrown out at the next available opportunity, and it’ll be backdated three years :-P

  13. Kp says:

    GM will be out within 6 months…and Petro China will replace it with a market cap of a GAZILLION dollars. Everytime one of the execs of Petro China has a bowel movement the market will swing 50% up and down.

  14. UrbanDigs says:

    early 2010…Cmon CSCO — deliver today baby!!

  15. Pool Shark says:

    With hyperinflation on tap, I’d say the best candidate to replace GM would be just about any solid gold mining stock.

  16. michael schumacher says:

    The money quote from the article:

    “”It doesn’t have any impact at all,” he said. “I would encourage people not to overreact in a negative way to it.”

    I bet….only in this market will we get someone who tries to spin a loss of $39b

    Ciao
    MS

  17. sk says:

    I reckon 3 years because they move really really slowly.

    Separately, if we are going to ignore the 38B writedown now, shouldn’t we also reconsider their balance sheet for those past years when it showed 48B in its assets when they weren’t there. And then the views we formed THEN about the solvency, and general view of its valuation of the company need to be revisited no ? And when they are revisited and any forward looking calculations we were making then to give us a view of a fair price TODAY have to be revisited too surely ?

    -K

  18. Bob A says:

    …and when we see real estate values reach levels where the current inventory actually sells, the REAL number is gonna be ???

  19. michael schumacher says:

    the best part of it, for me, is watching the snake known as Tracinda (Kerkorian) see the stock stay in a range WELL ABOVE where he sold it off. I recall the day he sold it (this is via hindsight) he put out a PR saying he was “interested in acquiring more shares”…which we know now was complete bullshit as his filings showed he was selling his stake the VERY SAME DAY.

    That was when the stock was at 28-29…..

    Has GM’s outlook improved since then???? with today’s news a resounding answer of No Way in Hell is apropos.

    Gotta Love that.

    The next “issue” is coming soon to a bond insurer near you……..

    Ciao
    MS

  20. Groty says:

    When will it be renamed Rupert’s Industrial Index?

    NWS will replace GM.

  21. michael schumacher says:

    I agree with Groty…..had’nt thought of that one..

    Ciao
    MS

  22. Ted Craig says:

    Before you get too excited, let’s remember who sells the No. 1 brands in Brazil and China. Hint: It ain’t Toyota.

  23. FatMary says:

    my vote is for amazon

  24. DC says:

    I’m with you on CSCO and I have the massive after-hours losses to back it up.

  25. “And, who will replace them?”

    Infospace.
    According to founder Naveen Jain, back in 2000, it was destined to become the first trillion dollar market-cap company.
    He was off by about a trillion dollars….

  26. Anon says:

    A possible replacement for GM, that would keep a company with a similar industrial “theme” might be Johnson Controls.
    JCI is an OEM for automotive interiors for a large number of car companies, one of the biggest battery manufacturers, and is major player in building systems (electrical through ventilation, etc). A successful modern industrial company.
    Increasing global, large number of employees; with a market cap of around $24 billion and widely held. It would be as good a substitute fit as any, if the Dow wants to broadly represent a variety of economic sectors.

  27. [...] We finally get the answer to the question we have been asking since 2007: When will GM get kicked out of the Dow? [...]