Profit Falls at General Motors by 53%

Third quarter earnings were announced by General Motors in the amount of $698 million, which was 53% less than last year during the same quarter. However, revenue was slightly higher at $39 billion.

GM earnings a year ago were $1.5 billion on $37.6 billion of revenue. The automaker cited increased taxes and special items for its fall in profits. Less those two, earnings would have been $1.6 billion.

The key items identified by GM were a loss of more than $800 million in the repurchase of 120 million Preferred shares of stock and an incremental tax expense. The U.S. carmaker also cited write downs for goodwill impairment on its international operations.

Auto sales in North American were strong as GM reported operating profit of more than $2.2 billion, which was 29% up from the $1.7 billion of last year.

Operations in Europe remained troublesome, but lost less than it did last year. For the quarter, the loss this year was $214 million, while last year it was $487 million.

GM noted that the latest quarter ending September 30 was its 15th straight quarter that was profitable.

Without the charges GM specified, earnings were 96 cents per share, which was up from last year’s 89 cents. Analysts on Wall Street had focused on that number and considered the earnings report to be good.

For the first three quarters of 2013, GM earned $2.9 billion versus the $4 billion one year ago.

GM CFO Dan Ammann said that the quarter had been stronger overall and the increase in revenue in Europe had been encouraging giving GM hope that it would hit its break even forecast in Europe of 2015.

On October 24, Ford Motor released its earnings that were $1.3 billion after charges for restricting in Europe and a lump sum retirement payment method switch to some white-collar employees in the U.S.

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