General Motors reported $3.4 billion loss in the fourth quarter of 2009, but is on track to possibly return to profitability in 2010, the company said Wednesday.
Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell, who joined the company earlier this year, stopped short of forecasting a profit this year, but said that results in the recently-completed first quarter, which will be reported in May, and the outlook for sales the rest of the year gives the company hope that it is close to returning to the black for the first time since early 2007.
He points out that much of the fourth-quarter loss was due to one-time items, such as a $2.6 billion settlement loss related to the UAW retiree medical plan. Without those one-time items, the loss would have been closer to $600 million in the quarter.
"The underlying profitability is not as bad as it would seem," he said. "We don't need to make that much of an improvement to get to profitability."