General Motors (NYSE:GM) made a splash with its earnings report Thursday, and the automaker sector as a whole helped celebrate.
GM posted its largest annual profit in history — $7.6 billion, which was up 62% from the year-ago period. Revenues also were up 11%. The fourth quarter was less impressive, with earnings flat at $500 million and adjusted EPS 2 cents shy of Wall Street estimates. But the banner day still was enough to send GM shares up 9% by the end of trading.
The rest of the sector followed suit. Ford (NYSE:F) gained almost 3%, Volkswagen (PINK:VLKAY) was up 1.7%, and Honda (NYSE:HMC) and Toyota (NYSE:TM) each rose more than 1%. Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) also gained ground Thursday, up 1.7% after a mixed earnings report but encouraging 2012 forecasts. The company also is riding high on the strong reception for its Model X crossover.
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) was hit hard Thursday morning after its shares were downgraded by Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS). AMZN shed about 5% before recovering for a final 2.5% loss. Morgan Stanley’s primary were concerns were threats from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and growing weakness in sales of physical media.
Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) finished up less than a percent after the company announced its 50th consecutive annual dividend increase. Coca-Cola raised its quarterly dividend 8.5%, to 51 cents, and will be payable April 1 to shareholders of record as of March 15. KO shares now yield roughly 3%.
- TRW Automotive Holdings (NYSE:TRW): Up 14.4% ($5.96) to $47.43.
- Cabela’s (NYSE:CAB): Up 13.8% ($3.91) to $32.31.
- Kinross Gold (NYSE:KGC): Up 7.7% (79 cents) to $11.10.
- Avis Budget (NASDAQ:CAR): Down 13.8% ($2.01) to $12.58.
- Blue Nile (NASDAQ:NILE): Down 10.3% ($4.31) to $37.52.
- J.M. Smucker (NYSE:SJM): Down 8.4% ($6.55) to $71.60.
Kyle Woodley is the assistant editor of InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Check out recaps from previous trading days here.