General Motors Posts $6 Billion Loss

Despite being better than some predicted, it still wasn't pretty.

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General Motors posted its much-awaited first-quarter results today. They were slightly better than many analysts were expecting. Unfortunately, they still weren't pretty.

The auto giant lost $6 billion in the first quarter. Its revenue nearly halved, dropping from $42.4 billion to $22.4 billion. It spent $10.2 billion more than it made. Per share, the quarter loss was about $9.78.

Chief Financial Officer Ray Young told reporters this morning that part of the problem was consumers' fears that the company would file for bankruptcy and render their vehicle warranties useless. Although the federal government has guaranteed the warranties of both GM and Chrysler, it didn't announce the program until the end of March, which also marked the end of the first quarter.

Despite the ominous numbers—and the litany of tasks before it, including arriving at a new agreement with the unions, shuttering factories, and finishing negotiations over swaps of debt for stock with its bondholders—GM is still hoping to avoid filing for bankruptcy. But the company is preparing for the possibility and particularly hoping that, if it has to, it can follow Chrysler's lead in pursuing a quick court settlement.

General Motors has received $15.4 billion in bailout loans from the federal government. It has said it needs an additional $11.6 billion to survive. But unless GM can prove its viability with a solid plan by June 1, the administration has said that it will leave the corporation to its fate.