WSJ US BusinessGM Rebounds From Coronavirus-Related Losses

November 5, 20200

General Motors Co. ’s efforts to crank up production of pickups and other lucrative models drove a $4 billion profit in the third quarter, the latest automotive company to rebound from earlier Covid-19-related losses, even as the pandemic worsens.

The car business has mounted a striking recovery since U.S. auto plants were idled for several weeks last spring. Auto makers have managed to keep their factories bustling without major pandemic-related disruptions, while demand for new vehicles has come back stronger than analysts predicted when the crisis hit.

GM said Thursday net income rose 74% over the same quarter in 2019, when a bruising 40-day strike led by the United Auto Workers union halted work at the company’s U.S. factories, denting earnings.

Adjusted pretax profit was $5.28 billion in the third-quarter of 2020, or $2.83 earnings a share. The results blew past analysts’ expectations of $1.38 a share, according to FactSet, with GM crediting the strong quarter in part to cost-cutting moves taken this spring as the pandemic took a toll on business.

GM’s stock was up more than 2% in midmorning trading.

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