General Motors (NYSE:
) rose Thursday after second-quarter earnings fell less than
expected and the automaker posted a slightly narrower-than-expected
loss in Europe.
Excluding items, net income fell to $1.5 billion, or 90 cents a
share, down from $2.5 billion or $1.54 a share in the same period
last year. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 74 cents a share
Europe was GM's global trouble spot. It lost $361 million in the
region, amid a regional economic slowdown. The company had earned
more than $100 million there a year earlier.
"Our results in North America, our international operations and
at GM Financial were solid but we clearly have more work to do to
offset the headwinds we face, especially in regions like Europe and
South America," said GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson.
He did not provide a timetable for when GM expects its European
business to be profitable again.
Global revenue fell 5 percent to $37.6 billion, short of
expectations even though GM sold slightly more vehicles than it did
the prior year. That was mainly due to the strengthening U.S.
dollar relative to other currencies. Almost the entire sales
decline could be blamed on currency effects, the company said.
GM continues to generate cash, however -- unlike the dark days
of its publicly-financed bailout. It garnered $1.7 billion in free
cash from its automotive business in the quarter.
While business challenges remain, GM said four of its five
business segments were profitable, and it's remained in the black
for 10 straight quarters -- a feat the company has not achieved in
more than a decade.
Shares rose less than 1 percent to $19.74 in mid-morning
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