RECORD PROFIT: General Motors Co. earned $7.6 billion last year, the biggest profit in its history. North America led the way with $7.2 billion in pretax earnings, up 26 percent from 2010. International Operations, including Asia, earned $1.9 billion. But GM posted losses in Europe and South America.
WALL STREET REACTS: GM shares jumped 9 percent Thursday to close at $27.17. Investors focused on comments from GM executives that costs are under control and revenue is expected to rise.
THE DOWNSIDE: GM's fourth-quarter profit fell 8 percent to $468 million. Its U.S. sales growth slowed to 4.4 percent, lagging behind the 10 percent growth in the overall market. The company is still working on restructuring Europe. It's planning on seven new models to boost earnings in South America.