Last Year Aside, GM's Sales Are Still Down

Yes, GM's sales in the first quarter of this year were way up from last year's catastrophic first quarter. And the company, which went through bankruptcy last year, turned a profit for the first time since 2007.

But its sales are still lower than they were for most of the past decade:

GM
(Source: GM filings)

GM sales are important for taxpayers, because the U.S. Treasury owns 61% of GM. And the U.S. is unlikely to recover its investment in the company unless sales rise a lot more.

The ownership stake in GM cost taxpayers about $39 billion.

For the Treasury to break even on the investment, GM would have to be worth roughly $64 billion. By comparison, when the company's stock hit an all-time high back in 2000, GM's market cap was about $56 billion.

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