GM posts profit in first quarter


General Motors Company says it rode cost cuts and strong sales of new models to its first quarterly profit in nearly three years.

The Detroit automaker says it earned $865 million from January through March, a strong sign GM has reversed course from staggering losses that nearly caused its death.

The $1.66-per-share profit was far better than a loss of $6 billion, or $9.78-per-share, for the same period last year.

It's also a sign that GM may be able to back up CEO Ed Whitacre's forecast of a full-year profit.

The U.S. government loaned GM about $50 billion to stay in business. GM has repaid $6.7 billion and hopes to pay back the rest with a stock sale. The government now owns 61% of the company.