GM profit drops 9 percent as it spends more on raw materials

General Motors Co. said Thursday that its third-quarter profit dropped 9 percent from a year earlier as it spent more money on raw materials, which were in high demand in a buoyant auto market….

GM profit drops 9 percent as it spends more on raw materials

General Motors Co. said Thursday that its third-quarter profit dropped 9 percent from a year earlier as it spent more money on raw materials, which were in high demand in a buoyant auto market. The stock price of the Detroit auto maker fell.

Earnings came to $1.07 a share, which was more than analysts’ estimates of $1.05 a share. However, GM took a $900 million hit to income from raw materials that combined with manufacturing costs added $1.28 a share to its income after taxes.

Revenue rose 18 percent, to $41.8 billion, from $36.5 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Carlos Ghosn, the chief executive of the company, said the rise in revenue was an “unprecedented achievement” since it was made by raising prices in emerging markets like China while reducing costs, which he said was a trend that continued.

The company, which said it was profitable in North America and Europe and lost money in Latin America, said it produced 1.7 million vehicles in North America, the equivalent of 96 vehicles a minute, which was a record.

For the period through the end of September, GM said its costs rose to $90.8 billion, from $76.9 billion a year earlier.

The company did not give an outlook for the fourth quarter, but cautioned investors about the fourth quarter being “seasonally lower.”

The stock price of GM fell nearly 4 percent in after-hours trading following the release of the earnings report. GM’s stock closed the day at $33.39, down 1.8 percent from Wednesday’s close of $33.86.

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