GM has been going through a rough patch financially for the last few years. That’s a nice way of putting it. Anyone hoping that that trend would change with the company’s fourth quarter results will be sorely disappointed. GM has announced that they suffered a net loss of $4.8 billion in the last three months of last year. The loss was far bigger than the expectations of analysts. It brings the total loss for the year to $8.6 billion. Revenues were down slightly from $51.4 billion to $51.2 billion. When asked to point the finger of blame, GM executives cited high costs, shrinking market share and poor SUV sales. They were quick to point out that they are cautiously optimistic for 2006, due to cut costs and new products that are expected to perform well.
It’s only fair to point out that $3.6 billion of the loss was due to one-time charges. Those charges included a $1.3 billion restructuring charge for North America and $2.3 billion related to a benefit guarantee with the UAW and bankrupt parts maker Delphi.