After weeks of speculation, General Motors announced today it earned a $3.2 billion net profit in the first quarter of 2011.
A substantial figure, of course, but it should be noted a sizable portion of that profit comes from non-automotive interests. GM made $1.6 billion by selling its leftover stake in supplier Delphi; a similar move with the Ally financial organization (formerly GMAC) raked in an additional $300 million. That said, GM's automotive operations did post a $1.7 billion profit -- roughly right in line with early estimates from analysts.
Revenues for the quarter totaled $36.2 billion, up $4.7 billion versus Q1 '10. GM, like Ford, is facing $4 gas with a better mix of small cars and crossovers.
The $3.2 billion quarterly profit is its fifth consecutive, and its best in more than a decade. It comes to $1.77 per share, including 82 cents per share attributable to the special items. GM's Earnings Before Income Tax (EBIT) was $3.5 billion, or $2 billion without the special items, up from $1.7 billion in the first quarter of 2010.
North American operations posted an EBIT of $2.9 billion, up by $1.7 billion over Q1 '10. European operations posted a $400 million loss before taxes, an improvement of $600 million over Q1 '10's EBIT, and GM says it expects to break even on Opel/Vauxhall for the full year. International operations posted a $500 million EBIT, down from $900 million. GM South America's $100 million EBIT was down from $300 million for the half of last Q1.
GM says it still expects no material effect on its business from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.