General Motors has posted $4.7 billion in earnings for 2010, its first annual profit since 2004, and another indication, the maker said, of its ongoing recovery after emerging from bankruptcy nearly two years ago.
A rebound in the North American market helped fuel the earnings, though GM’s numbers also received a significant boost from China where it is now the largest manufacturer in the booming market. Concessions from union workers played a significant role in improving the bottom line, with analysts saying GM now has a significant cost advantage over foreign-owned transplant assembly lines.
For the fourth quarter, GM reported net income of $510 million – after taking $400 million in charges for buying preferred stock held by the U.S. Treasury and other one-time expenses – which worked out to $0.31 a share. Factoring out the one-time charges, GM would have earned $0.51 a share, slightly above the consensus on Wall Street.
For the full year, GM earned $2.89 a share on revenues of $135.6 billion. During the fourth quarter, revenues reached $36.9 billion, which was also ahead of the $34.3 billion estimated by analysts tallied by FactSheet.
GM ran up more than $80 billion in losses, starting in 2005 and continuing through to its 2009 bankruptcy – from which it emerged only after receiving about $50 billion in federal assistance. It has since paid off all its outstanding U.S. and Canadian government loans and last November’s initial public stock offering resulted in the sell-off of slightly less than half the federal stake in the automaker.
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