General Motors (NYSE:GM) logged an 15.6% contraction in first-quarter earnings on Monday amid dipping profits in North America, but the auto giant’s results still managed to easily outstrip expectations.
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Wall Street cheered the earnings beat from the maker of Chevrolet and Cadillac, bidding its shares 3% higher in premarket trading.
GM said it earned $865 million, or 58 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $1 billion, or 60 cents a share, a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, the auto maker earned 67 cents a share, surpassing the Street’s view of 54 cents.
Revenue retreated 2.4% to $36.9 billion, narrowly besting consensus calls from analysts for $36.6 billion.
“The year is off to a solid start as we increased our global share with strong new products that are attracting customers around the world,” CEO Dan Akerson said in a statement. “We saw progress in Europe thanks to strong cost actions and great vehicles like the Opel Adam and Mokka.”
Global market share ticked up to 11.4% in the first quarter, compared with 11.2% the year before.
While GM had been able to rely on steady growth from its home region, that trend stalled in the first quarter.
The No. 1 U.S. auto maker reported adjusted profits of $1.4 billion in North America, down from $1.6 billion the year before. U.S. market share expanded to 17.7% from 17.2%, while North American market share rose to 17.1% from 16.7%.
On the other hand, GM’s biggest problem area -- slumping Europe -- narrowed its adjusted loss to $200 million from $300 million the year before. European market share inched up to 8.3% from 8.2%.
GM’s international operations logged adjusted profits of $500 million, matching the year-earlier period, while its South American division broke even after having earned $200 million the year before. South American market share shrank to 17.2% from 18.3%.
Detroit-based GM saw its shares drive 3.05% higher to $31.10 ahead of Thursday’s opening bell. The rally puts GM in position to expand its subpar 4.7% 2013 gain.