Thursday, August 17, 2006

Large investors sell parts of GM stock

Thursday, August 17, 2006
Large investors sell parts of GM stock
Two big stockholders unload a combined 28%; several others increase their holdings, filings say.
Tom Krisher / Associated Press

DETROIT -- Two of General Motors Corp.'s largest institutional investors have sold big blocks of the company's stock, but others have increased their holdings, according to regulatory filings.

Capital Research & Management Co., a Los Angeles-based investment firm that is GM's second-largest investor, sold 19.2 million shares, or 24 percent of its holdings in the company, according to second-quarter reports filed earlier this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company's third-largest investor, Brandes Investment Partners LP of San Diego, sold 2.4 million shares, or 4 percent of its holdings.

But other investors increased their stakes in the world's largest automaker, including Credit Suisse, which bought 11.5 million shares; Fidelity Management & Research, which purchased 6.8 million; and Franklin Mutual Advisers LLC, which bought 4.6 million, according to

"It's natural for investors to periodically rebalance their holdings," said GM spokeswoman Brenda Rios, who declined further comment.

Capital Research and Brandes said they do not comment on their investments.

Craig Fitzgerald, an auto analyst and partner with Plante & Moran in Southfield, said the transactions were the result of some investors who bought GM shares at a lower price taking a profit and others seeing signs of progress in GM's restructuring.

"GM in particular is continuing to do some of the key things they need to be doing," Fitzgerald said. "There's no reason to necessarily believe there isn't more upside in the short- and mid-term."

GM's stock price has risen more than 65 percent since it hit a 52-week low of $18.33 in December. The stock closed at $30.99, up 45 cents, Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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