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General Motors Runs Out of Gas

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Struggling automotive giant General Motors (GM) isn’t very popular among mutual funds.

In light of GM’s recently announced moves to cut more costs, Fund Advisor uncovered only two mutual funds that had the stock among its top ten holdings as of Dec. 31, 2005: Hennessy Total Return Fund (HDOGX), and Hennessy Balanced Fund (HBFBX).

GM just unveiled a series of cost-saving measures, including cutting its dividend by half, reducing its health-care expenses for retirees by about $900 million annually, restructuring its salaried pension benefit plan and lowering the pay for the company’s chairman and senior executives. These steps follow the huge $4.8 billion loss the company posted in the fourth quarter of 2005, as well a downgrade of its credit to “junk” status earlier in the year.

In response to GM’s move, Standard & Poor’s senior automotive analyst Efraim Levy said, “we are encouraged that GM finally halved its dividend, which will enhance its liquidity by an annual $565 million.”

Levy noted that modifications in the company’s retiree pension and health benefits will “modestly improve GM’s balance sheet by reducing some benefit obligations, but the near-term cash impact appears to us minimal.”

Levy reiterated his “sell” recommendation on the stock and has a 12-month price target of $20.

An earlier version of this article did not specify that these two Hennessy funds were the only portfolios to include GM in their top ten holdings as of year-end 2005.


Percentage of Assets Invested in GM (as of 12/31/2005)

S&P Star Ranking

Hennessy Total Return Fund (HDOGX)



Hennessy Balanced Fund (HBFBX)



Contact Bob Keane with questions or comments at: [email protected].