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Sport utes push profits up 1% at GM for quarter

SHARE Sport utes push profits up 1% at GM for quarter

DETROIT — General Motors Corp., the world's largest automaker, said second-quarter earnings rose 1 percent on North American demand for high-profit sport-utility vehicles.

Net income climbed to $1.75 billion, or $2.93 a share, from profit of $1.73 billion, or $2.66, a year earlier. The per-share amount reflects buybacks and an exchange offer that reduced the number of shares outstanding.

General Motors trimmed its costs during the quarter and accelerated production of full-size sports utilities like the Chevrolet Tahoe, which can carry as many as nine passengers and costs more than $40,000. The company had to cut prices to maintain U.S. sales, while profit in Europe declined.

"GM's earnings are still largely a one-legged stool held up by North American trucks," said Gary Lapidus, an analyst at Goldman Sachs.

Revenue rose 8.2 percent to $48.74 billion from $45.1 billion. General Motors produced 1.568 million vehicles in North America in the quarter, up from the year-earlier 1.555 million. Its total U.S. sales fell by 3.2 percent, but it boosted sales of full-sized sport utilities, including the Escalade, Tahoe, Suburban and Yukon, by almost 21 percent to 108,064.

The profit exceeded the average estimate of $2.82 a share in a First Call/Thomson Financial analyst poll. Earningswhispers.com forecast profit of $2.89 a share.