No surprises as GM reports deep loss

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General Motors Corp. (GM) reported fourth quarter financial results Thursday morning. As many feared, the losses were deep. The nation's largest automaker lost $9.6 billion in the fourth quarter and a staggering $30.9 billion loss for the full year.

The per share loss was $9.65 excluding items -- far higher than analyst estimates of $7.40 per share according to Thomson Reuters.

More than the losses, however, investors are interested in the automaker's cash burn. Is it enough to sustain it during this period of slumping U.S. sales and a global recession? GM says it burned through $6.2 billion in cash in the quarter, in which it received $13.4 billion in federal loans to help it avoid running out of cash.

Today, GM executives will be in Washington, D.C. to talk to the Obama administration about the company's request for up to $30 billion. The poor results are being reported just in time to help GM make its plea for more help. But GM didn't need to do more convincing -- at least not on Wall Street, where its stock price is nearing Great Depression lows.

Can GM convince Washington, or even Main Street, which seems to actually oppose more automaker's aid, to dole out more money?

If that doesn't happen, GM already said it it could receive a "going concern" notice from auditors. If GM cannot remain viable, what would this mean for the U.S. economy? Many more troubles.

Even with the market expecting horrendous results, GM shares are being slammed in pre-market trading, down nearly 7.5% to $2.36.

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