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May 17, 2010 10:16 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

GM accelerates to quarterly profit

General Motors 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. During the same quarter last year, GM lost $6 billion.

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 percent of the company.

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