It’s not very often that a loss of $323 million for a company can be relatively good news for investors, but that’s the case with GM. Sure, they lost $323 million, but for a company that lost $10.5 billion last year, including $1.3 billion in the first quarter, that’s not so bad. It’s the sixth straight losing quarter for the company.
There were even some bright spots. Revenue for the quarter was $52.2 billion, a record and a 14% increase over last year. Sales were strong in Asia and Latin America and North American results showed improvement, including better pricing. Included in the results was a one time $1 billion charge to deal with the recent employee health care settlement. Without that the results would almost look rosy. The market reacted favorably, driving the stock price up more than 3% in premarket trading.
North American operations have been and remain a disaster. They lost $946 million on the quarter, though that was an improvement on the $1.5 billion loss of a year ago. Still, it is the North American division that is weighing down the company and that division which needs to get healthy before the fortunes of the whole company can brighten.