General forecasts that pretax earnings this year should beat the record profits it expects to post for 2016. Based on that outlook, GM approved a $5 billion share repurchase, according to MarketWatch.
GM said the forecast is based on continued strength in North America and resilient demand in China
The company forecasts 2017 pretax operating earnings per share, adjusted for any special items, of $6 to $6.50, up from a forecast $5.50 to $6 that it expects to post when the company reports earnings on Feb. 7. The 2016 result should come in at the "high-end" of that range," Chief Executive Mary Barra told reporters ahead of an investor conference in Detroit.
The nation's largest auto maker is benefiting from strong U.S. demand for pickup trucks and SUVs -- its biggest moneymakers -- stoked by low gasoline prices and interest rates. It has also leveraged its strength in China, where a tax cut on some vehicles last year helped increase GM's sales in its biggest market to a record 3.9 million vehicles.
GM also said its results in South America -- hard hit by the recession and political instability -- should improve in 2017. But executives expressed a cautious view in Europe due to the unfolding impact of Brexit.
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