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GM: Profits Fall, Exceeds Expectations

North American earnings rise, European loss improves


General Motors (NYSE:GM) shares were down 2% Thursday afternoon after the company announced a huge decline in first-quarter earnings.

First-quarter profit declined to $1 billion, down 69% from $3.2 billion during the same time last year. Revenue for the quarter rose 4% to $37.8 billion. Adjusted earnings of 93 cents were less than last year’s 95 cents but did top analyst expectations of 85 cents.

GM, Ford April Sales Fall, Chrysler’s Rise
GM, Ford April Sales Fall, Chrysler’s Rise

North American non-adjusted earnings were $1.7 billion, up from $1.3 billion in 2011. Profit margins increased, but the company lost market share, hitting 17.5% of the U.S. market — a share not seen since 1922, the Times said.

Europe continued to underperform. GM posted a $256 million loss in its European operations, but that was still up from last year’s $562 million loss.

The company, which remains partly owned by the U.S. government, said it had $31.5 billion in cash and marketable securities on hand at the end of the first quarter, down from $31.6 billion at the end of last year.

GM forecast lower North American profits for the rest of 2012, compared to last year, but raised its forecast for total U.S. vehicle sales by 500,000, to between 14 million to 14.5 million.

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