jueves, 24 de febrero de 2011

G.M. Reports an Annual Profit, Its First Since 2004

DETROIT — General Motors, which nearly collapsed from the weight of its debts two years ago before reorganizing in a government-sponsored bankruptcy, said Thursday that it earned $4.7 billion in 2010, the most in more than a decade.  It was the first profitable year since 2004 for G.M., which became publicly traded in November, ending a streak of losses totaling about $90 billion.

In addition, G.M. said 45,000 union workers would receive profit-sharing checks averaging $4,300, the most in the company’s history. http://wdalaw.com/trademark-registration/trademark-registration-brasil.php “Last year was one of foundation building,” G.M.’s chief executive, Daniel F. Akerson, said in a statement. “Particularly pleasing was that we demonstrated G.M.’s ability to achieve sustainable profitability near the bottom of the U.S. industry cycle, with four consecutive profitable quarters.”

In the fourth quarter, G.M. earned $510 million, or 31 cents a share, compared with a loss of $3.5 billion in the period a year ago. The full-year profit was equal to $2.89 a share.

It earned $5.7 billion last year in North America, which had been the biggest source of its pre-bankruptcy troubles. The overall profit was lower in part because of a loss of $1.8 billion in Europe and dividends paid on preferred stock.

Revenue was $36.9 billion for the quarter and $135.6 billion for the year.

G.M. ended the year with $27.6 billion in cash and $4.6 billion in debt. Its pension obligations in the United States were underfunded by $11.5 billion, down from $16 billion a year earlier.

Cash flow was $6.6 billion positive for the year but $1.7 billion negative in the fourth quarter as a result of a $4 billion voluntary contribution to the pension plans.

G.M. also said that its board and management team have concluded that the company had resolved material weaknesses in its financial reporting process, a significant concern among analysts.

Christopher P. Liddell, G.M.’s chief financial officer, said 2011 “should be a better year” than 2010, as the automotive market in the United States continues to improve. But he said product mix and vehicle pricing could be “slight negatives.”

“Our focus for 2011 is to build on our progress and continue to generate momentum in the marketplace,” Mr. Liddell said. “We expect our first quarter will be a strong start.”

Globally, G.M.’s sales rose 12.2 percent in 2010, to 8.39 million, coming within about 30,000 vehicles of retaking the title of world’s largest automaker from Toyota. For the first time, it sold more cars and trucks in China, where its sales rose 28.8 percent from 2009, than in the United States, where sales were up 6.3 percent.

“Their recovery has been fueled by significant cost-cutting, arrival of new products that consumers were seeking along with better management of incentives and supply,” said Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends and insight at TrueCar.com, which tracks industry pricing and sales. “The sky is the limit for G.M. after becoming profitable at this low of a sales pace.”

Shares of G.M., which went public at a price of $33, closed Wednesday at $34.59.

The federal government, which exchanged much of the $50 billion it loaned to G.M. for a 61 percent ownership stake, still owns 500 million shares.

In addition to the profit-sharing checks for hourly workers, which it is contractually obligated to pay, G.M. this month said 26,000 salaried workers in the United States would receive bonuses, generally ranging from 4 to 16 percent of their pay. Several hundred white-collar employees are getting bonuses of more than 50 percent of their pay. About 3,000 hourly workers at G.M. parts plants will get $3,200 in profit sharing.

In comparison, the Ford Motor Company is cutting profit-sharing checks of about $5,000 to its hourly workers, and Chrysler plant workers are getting $750, even though that company lost money. Both automakers also are paying bonuses to their salaried workers.