DETROIT — Strong profits on new cars and trucks helped General Motors Co. earn $2 billion in the third quarter, enhancing the company's appeal as it nears next week's initial public stock offering.
The third-quarter earnings of $1.20 per share nearly match what GM made in the first two quarters of the year combined, aided by profits from overseas and healthy revenue from North America, the company said Wednesday. The earnings were boosted by strong revenue from newly introduced models such as the Buick LaCrosse, a midsize luxury sedan.
GM met projections it made a week ago that net income for the quarter would be $1.9 billion to $2.1 billion.
It was the third-straight profitable quarter for GM, which needed $50 billion in U.S. government aid to make it through bankruptcy protection last year. The company has repaid taxpayers $9.5 billion, and the government hopes to get back the remaining $40 billion with the Nov. 18 common stock offering and several follow-up sales.
The latest results reversed a $908 million loss, or 73 cents per share, in the third quarter of last year, a short quarter for GM because it spent the first nine days in bankruptcy protection.
The Detroit automaker posted $34.1 billion in revenue for the July-through-September quarter, up 35 percent from the $25.1 billion in the shortened period last year. GM had said last week that revenue could reach $34 billion for the quarter. Revenue has been steadily increasing this year, largely due to gains in North America and explosive sales growth in China.
For the quarter, GM reported strong profits in all of its regions but Europe, where it lost $559 million. The company reported $2.1 billion in profits from North America, and its international operations, including Asia and Latin America, made $646 million.
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