GM posts 15.5 bln dlr loss as US sales skid

WASHINGTON, August 1, 2008 (AFP) – General Motors posted Friday a whopping 15.5-billion-dollar net loss in the second quarter as the US auto giant took hefty restructuring charges and US sales skidded. The bleak earnings reported by the largest US automaker coincided with news of a seventh straight month of US nonfarm job losses that stoked concerns the economy is nowhere near the road to recovery.

GM said its loss per share in the second quarter was 27.33 dollars, compared with a 1.37 dollar earnings per share in the second quarter of 2007.

But excluding special items, the loss per share was 11.21 dollars, nearly four times the market expectations of 2.63 dollars.

“As our recent product, capacity and liquidity actions clearly demonstrate, we are reacting rapidly to the challenges facing the US economy and auto market, and we continue to take the aggressive steps necessary to transform our US operations,” GM chairman and chief executive Rick Wagoner said in a statement.

The massive quarterly net loss compared with a net profit of 891 million dollars a year earlier.

It reflected 9.1 billion dollars in one-time special charges that ranged from four truck plant closures and employ