GM Loses $15.5B, Stuns Street

$27.33 per-share loss much worse than analysts predicted
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2008 8:20 AM CDT
GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner fields questions at a news conference prior to attending the annual shareholders meeting in Wilmington, Del in this Jul. 3 file photo.   (AP Photo/Bradley C Bower, file)
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(Newser) – General Motors stunned Wall Street today, reporting a $15.5-billion second-quarter loss—a figure far worse than anything analysts had predicted—as sales collapsed on the company's most profitable products, trucks and SUVs. Prognosticators had estimated the automaker would lose $2.62 per share, excluding items; instead the loss came in at $11.21 a share, and with items that figure ballooned to $27.33, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The main culprit of the downturn was North American revenue, which fell by almost a third, as GM’s market share slid to 20.2%. Revenue overall fell 18%. The loss included  $9.1 billion in restructuring charges and writedowns. "The second quarter this year has been one of the fastest-changing markets I have ever seen," GM’s chief finance officer told reporters. “We're going to get the second quarter behind us and move ahead.”