General Motors is almost out of money, the company said today, reporting a quarter far worse than Wall Street was prepared for. The nation’s largest automaker lost $4.2 billion, or $7.35 a share, excluding special items, nearly double the $3.70-per-share analysts expected. After burning through $6.9 billion this quarter, the company says it "will approach the minimum necessary to operate its business" this quarter, and fall "significantly short" of that in 2009.
The release made no mention of bankruptcy, but that specter seems to be looming large over the automaker, CNNMoney reports. “This is not something that can go on and be dealt with in the next year,” said one industry researcher. “When your cash is gone, you’re gone.” GM says it’ll slash more jobs and said it was ending merger discussions with Chrysler to focus on its liquidity woes. The Big 3 automakers also are seeking federal aid.