General Motors continued to show solid results from its restructuring efforts Wednesday, as the automaker blew past analysts' projections, posting its first quarterly operating profit in global operations since 2004. Operating losses in the critical North American market shrank to $85 million, compared to nearly $1.2 billion in Q2 2005.

Including one-time charges related to job buyouts for over 30,000 GM employees, GM posted a jaw-dropping $3.2 billion loss in the second quarter. Nonetheless, Wednesday's results show that the automaker is well on the way to returning to profitability, and investors reacted enthusiastically, pushing the stock price up nearly 4 percent in morning trading. GM's share price has risen 60 percent since the beginning of the year.

Today's results reflect the results of GM's cost-cutting and downsizing efforts, which, while a necessary part of its recovery, are only part of the story. The critical work of improving the competitiveness of its product line and regaining market share in North America is still in the early stages, as shown by the 17 percent drop in GM's unit sales in the U.S. for the second quarter.

[Source: Reuters]

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