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Let us not miss the point as to why this is such an achievement; after all, GM's $1.3 billion profit pales in comparison to other non-automotive companies like ExxonMobil, GE, and Citigroup, which generate about 3-4 times the profit.

As elaborated by the Motley Fool:

In Q1 2003, GM earned $1.84 a share (excluding the $0.90 profit from the sale of GM Defense to General Dynamics). GM's Q1 2004 translated into a 22% increase in profits on revenue that edged up a mere 3%. Some of this resulted from solid performance at its nonautomotive unit, GMAC, which luckily benefitted from the Fed's decision to hold interest rates steady.

However, as GM's pundits are less apt to point out, global automotive earnings grew 12%. Much of this comes from the Asia-Pacific region (i.e., Toyota's, Honda's, Nissan's, and Hyundai's backyard!), where profits tripled and market share grew 10% to 4.7%. Much of that resulted from GM's strength in China and India. A weakening U.S. dollar should only exaggerate the gains.

If GM can avoid complacency and arrogance (you know, its usual M.O.), my guess is that they will continue to generate fat cash for their stockholders.
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