GM Rides Cost Cuts, New Model Sales to 1Q Profit

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DETROIT - General Motors Co. says it rode cost cuts and strong sales of new models to its first quarterly profit in nearly three years.

The Detroit automaker says it earned $865 million from January through March, a strong sign GM has reversed course from staggering losses that nearly caused its death.

The $1.66-per-share profit was far better than a loss of $6 billion, or $9.78-per-share, for the same period last year.

It's also a sign that GM may be able to back up CEO Ed Whitacre's forecast of a full-year profit.

The U.S. government loaned GM about $50 billion to stay in business. GM has repaid $6.7 billion and hopes to pay back the rest with a stock sale. The government now owns 61 percent of the company.

© 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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