Can GM Reach Record 2012 Profit Goals?

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(Image source: Flickr/mkumm) BY EMILY SPAIN You're watching multisource business and U.S. news analysis...
(Image source: Flickr/mkumm) BY EMILY SPAIN You're watching multisource business and U.S. news analysis from Newsy. Once filing for bankruptcy, now projecting record profits. The tide at General Motors might be turning in the company’s favor. Three years after a government bailout, the company reports it is targeting a $10 billion annual profit. GM’s chief financial officer told the Wall Street Journal the company would increase its profit margins from six to 10 percent in order to reach the profit goal. An analyst on CNN Money has faith that GM is on its way up. “GM is really on its way, it’s moving forward. It reports earnings next week and the expectation is that it will say that it earned $8 billion in profit for all of 2011. Gosh, once upon a time that was almost unthinkable.” But a writer for 24/7 Wall St. says GM’s profit target is unrealistic... and tears apart GM’s argument that it can rely on China - the world’s largest car market - to help make its profit goals. “That plan has two barriers. The first is that the growth of the market for cars and light vehicles in the People’s Republic has slowed. The other is … GM no longer just competes with other foreign car companies in China. Local firms want to take market share from GM … ” Fox Business reports American taxpayers still own one-third of General Motors, because the company has paid back just $24 billion of the $51 billion bailout. Stuart Varney on Fox notes GM’s progress, but also reminds us where the company’s coming from. VARNEY: “So, is General Motors back? You can say that it is profitable, it is stable and it has got good profit margins, but it is still very much in the hole to the taxpayer.” Street Insider reports the company is expected to announce its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2011 results on February 16. Transcript by Newsy.