GM CEO Ed WhitacreGeneral Motors, which just a year ago had emerged fresh from bankruptcy, is today on much firmer footing. Having shed half its brands in the past year, the once-bloated behemoth became profitable once again during the first three months of the year, reporting in May it earned $865 million. Three months later, GM is expected to report it made even bigger profits -- perhaps in excess of $1 billion -- during the second quarter, when it releases its latest results on Thursday.

Though hinting at a larger quarterly profit, GM isn't making statements speculating about its pending report. But Chief Executive Ed Whitacre (pictured), who assumed the position on a temporary basis late last year and settled in permanently in January, said last week he expected the Detroit automaker's second-quarter results will be viewed positively by both potential investors and creditors, according to Reuters.

"It will be good. It will be impressive," said Whitacre, who is eager to end the government's support of once-ailing carmaker. Last year's federal bailout of GM -- and Chrysler -- left U.S. taxpayers holding 61% of the company, leading some critics to deridingly refer to GM as "Government Motors." It's a moniker Whitacre would like to send to the scrapheap.

Not as Strong as Ford

Though noncommittal on the timing of an initial public offering of stock in the new company, Whitacre, speaking last week, did express urgency in getting the deal done. Analysts have for months ventured that the stock sale would occur in advance of U.S. midterm elections, eliminating GM, at least, as a possible campaign issue, while also handing the Obama administration a win. The White House credits the bailouts at both companies for creating 55,000 jobs and saving thousands more.

Though likely healthy, GM earnings aren't expected to surpass those posted by Ford Motor (F), which hauled in $2.6 billion in the quarter ending June. Ford's bottom line was bolstered by greater demand for its cars and trucks around the world and by profits at its finance arm, Ford Credit. GM sold off its credit unit, GMAC, in 2006. In a bid to get back into the lucrative enterprise, GM last month agreed to buy subprime auto-lender AmeriCredit (ACF) in a $3.5 billion deal aimed at increasing availability of vehicle loans and leases. The purchase is expected to be completed by year's end.

GM, as well as Chrysler, has also reported improved sales, especially after factoring out comparisons that include sales from its orphaned brands. Among its four remaining "core" divisions -- Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC -- sales surged 25% in July compared to year ago, and newer models, such as the Chevrolet Equinox small SUV and Buick LaCrosse sedan, remain in strong demand.

Whether the stalled economic recovery will hand GM a setback in the form of reduced sales remains to be seen. Come Thursday, however, fans of the iconic automaker can revel in an impressive comeback -- at least for the day.

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bopaan

You can't claim a profit when you owe taxpayers ove $40 billion dollars unles you are writing that money off. The only way they can pay it back is to again issue stock on the market. That Stock would have to be valued at a higher price then GMs best years just to break even with taxpayers. Plus do you really think this administration is going to actually use payment from TARP lending to pay down the debt like the bill says? No they are using it as a slush fund. It is time to vote out everyone who supported TARP. They lied.

August 12 2010 at 8:12 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
craig

That is great that GM is making a profit !!! Now they can pay me my damn tax dollars back that they were given WITHOUT my permission. Oh yeah don't forget the interest. 17% should do it.

August 12 2010 at 7:30 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
jneub340dart

How can a company that still owes billions to the taxpayers go out and buy Americredit for $3.5 billion?? One of the companies to blame for the financial meltdown in the first place. You have a corrupt government bent on giving bailouts instead of doing the right thing in creating jobs. By keeping GM and Chrysler afloat, they have just perpetuated an arrogant, fossilized relic.
GM also said it repayed $8 billion in TARP money....Wrong! That was money received from Obama at Jennifer Granholm's behest i the form of TARP money and held in a special coffer. Who gave $80 million in campaign contributions to Obama? GM and the UAW. And in MI, the UAW and MEA( Michigan Education Association)support Granholm and her cronies and have allowed business as usual to continue. Thank god her sorry ass will be out in November.
How many of you are going out and buying a Volt at $40K?

August 12 2010 at 7:18 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
eyeforeye42

And to think the GOP is screaming about saving jobs when if GM failed there would be millions more on unemployment. Is it worth it? Ask a GM worker, their suppliers and sub suppliers, local grocer and the whole cascade if it would be better to be on unproductive unemployment. If the cost of keeping GM afloat is so high, what would be the cost of millions of workers out on unemployment for 36 months? Certainly not chump change. GOP cares about power not people.

August 12 2010 at 5:10 AM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to eyeforeye42's comment
shark839

But KMA was there a better type of bail out? I agree G.M was to big to fail! But while you saved 55,000 jobs how many were lost by ordering the closing of over a 1,000 dealerships? That is a ton of people out of work. Now if they had just had a Union? Maybe Obama would have cared about them too?

August 12 2010 at 5:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kaipo&amber

must be nice when they dont have to pay none of the bail out back

August 12 2010 at 1:17 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
sea444

I am sure that this is good news to the millions of former GM note and stock holders who saw their savings wiped out by the bankruptsy.

August 12 2010 at 1:12 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sea444's comment
Jeff

Its good news to everybody, ass hole. Quit your whining. Its very tired.

August 12 2010 at 3:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gschne3978

Oh sounds real good until you realize the tax payer will probably be on the hook for their pension short fall. I last heard it was to the tune of +20 billion. You'll only need those kinds of profits for the next 60 months to get back to even. And lets brag about how many jobs were created and retained when 4 brands went away... I see empty dealer lots all over. Those happy people must be at work on the road construction crews where all the shovel ready money went. So where's the money now is it under this shell, or this one, or this one. Blah Blah Blah politician's lips move and the lies role on.

August 11 2010 at 11:38 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
John

If telling it like it is sounds llke anger. nowonder so many people lie

August 11 2010 at 11:37 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
John

Asian manufactures use gov, subsidies on steel. gov.retirement and medical G.M was doing fine with out the gov. until they made new rules allowing these imports.

August 11 2010 at 11:33 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
John

Asian manufactures use gov, subsidies on steel. gov.retirement and medical G.M was doing fine with out the gov. until they made new rules allowing these imports.

August 11 2010 at 11:33 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply