GM posts lower first-quarter profit after recall costs

DETROIT, April 24 Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:30am EDT

DETROIT, April 24 (Reuters) - General Motors Co on Thursday posted lower quarterly profit after a massive recall due to defective ignition switchs linked to at least 13 deaths, but results still topped Wall Street expectations on strong pricing for its vehicles, especially in North America.

Net income in the first quarter fell to $108 million, or 6 cents a share, from $873 million, or 58 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. The most recent quarter included recall costs of $1.3 billion, or 48 cents a share.

Excluding a charge mostly for the devaluation of the Venezuelan currency, GM earned 29 cents a share, far better than the 4 cents analysts expected, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Some GM ignition switches can make vehicle engines stall while operating, stop airbags from deploying, and power steering and power brakes from operating. The company is under investigation by U.S. safety regulators, Congress and the U.S. Department of Justice over its failure to detect the faulty part for more than a decade. (Reporting by Ben Klayman and Bernie Woodall in Detroit; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)