GM's Profits Drop 11 Percent

Not a good first quarter in North America


General Motors Co's first-quarter profit fell 11% as a result of a weaker performance in North America, where the nation's largest auto maker is spending heavily to launch new pickup trucks, continuing losses overseas and the impact of currency turbulence in South America.

But Wall Street had expected a bigger earnings hit and GM shares were up $1.10 in recent trading in New York to $31.28, a new 52-week high.

The auto makers reported net income of $1.18 billion, or 58 cents a share, compared with $1.32 billion, or 60 cents a year ago, for the same time period a year earlier. The results included a loss that reduced net income by $200 million.