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General Motors earned $1.

4 billion in the third quarter, down slightly from a year earlier, but exceeding Wall Street expectations as profits in North America more than offset smaller profits in China and losses in Europe and South America.

On an earnings per share basis GM made $1.50, up 55% from a year earlier and easily beating the $1.19 per share consensus estimate among 16 analysts. But that number was 84 cents after subtracting 66 cents for special accounting charges.

Those charges reflected a $575 million charge in the quarter as a result of agreeing to pay $900 million last month to settle criminal charges arising from its defective ignition switches, which have been tied to 124 deaths.



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