Detroit, Apr 26 (AP) General Motors’ first-quarter net income fell 60 per cent, but the company handily beat Wall Street estimates as US sales rose. Also Read - US House of Representatives Passes Landmark Bill Legalising Marijuana in Federal Level

The Detroit automaker says it made just over USD 1 billion from January through March, or 77 cents per share. A year ago the company made USD 2.6 billion, or USD 1.70 per share. Also Read - US Announces Reward of up to USD 5 Million For Information About 26/11 Mastermind

But excluding one-time costs such as restructuring in South Korea, the company made USD 1.43 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected USD 1.24 per share. Also Read - Trump Skips G20 Summit on Pandemic Preparedness, Later Spotted at His Golf Course: Report

Revenue fell 3 per cent to USD 36.1 billion. Analysts predicted USD 34.5 billion.

GM says earnings and revenue fell because shipments to dealers dropped as factories were closed to retool for new full-size pickup trucks. But GM’s US sales from dealers to buyers rose 3.8 per cent.

Shares rose more than 3 per cent in today’s premarket trading.

GM had warned that earnings would be slower in the first and fourth quarters of the year, but the company says it’s still on track to reach annual pretax earnings of around USD 6.50 per share.

In North America the company made USD 2.2 billion before taxes for an 8 per cent profit margin.

The company’s joint venture in China made a record USD 600 million.

GM said all of its business units were profitable for the quarter. In August of last year it sold its European operations to PSA Group of France.

In the US, where GM makes most of its money, the average sales price per vehicle rose 0.5 per cent for the quarter to USD 39,512, according to Kelley Blue Book. But the company spent nearly 10 per cent more on discounts than it did a year ago. (AP) SMJ SMJ

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.