General Motors is reporting that better-than-expected results from the third quarter of 2009 will allow it to begin repaying government loans sooner than originally planned.
Although GM posted a $1.2 billion loss since emerging from bankruptcy, sales have increased enough to make paying for the automaker’s debt more immediately feasible. GM received $6.7 billion in loans from the U.S. Treasury as part of its bankruptcy proceedings, along with help from Canada and Ontario. But this is only a fraction of the $50 billion in help GM received from U.S. taxpayers since the end of 2008.
GM announced on Monday that the company anticipates paying $1 billion to the U.S. Treasury in December, along with an additional $192 million to the Canadian and Ontario governments. The U.S. government now owns a majority stake in GM, but taxpayers are unlikely to see a return on the investment.
GM president and chief executive officer Fritz Henderson told reporters Monday morning that the third quarter results represented “some signs of progress, some signs of stability,” but that ultimately they were “not satisfactory.”
By comparison, Ford and Toyota both reported unexpected quarterly profits during the same period.
Henderson claims that GM intends to fully pay its debt to the United States government as early as June 2010. He said, however, that the timing of such an offering would depend on the state of the stock market as well the company and industry’s performance.
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