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GM Expected to Report Dazzling Numbers

General Motors' CEO Ed Whitacre said GM will announce "impressive" earnings. We'll see tomorrow.
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) --

Considering that

General Motors

is a closely-held company, its second-quarter earnings release is getting a lot of attention.

That's because now, as always, GM is more than just another company. In fact, the stock market's reaction to its nervously awaited initial public offering -- expected sometime this summer;


has reported the filing could happen as soon as Friday -- is going to amount to a key referendum on the Obama administration, which lent the automaker $60 billion.

The quarterly earnings release is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. eastern on Thursday.

In general, observers are optimistic that second quarter earnings will be strong and that the IPO, whenever it comes, will be successful.

Because GM is not publicly traded, most analysts do not follow the company. With no earnings estimates, the best indicators are some statements last week by CEO Ed Whitacre, and the results Ford posted three weeks ago.

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Results will "will be impressive," Whitacre told reporters. And Ford

earned $2.6 billion , its best quarter in six years.


posted a profit of $865 million in the first quarter, its first quarterly profit since 2007. "If you liked our first-quarter financial results, stay tuned for our second-quarter financial results next week," Whitacre said at a Center for Automotive Research session in Traverse City, Mich., according to the

Detroit Free Press

. "You will like it. ... It will be impressive." CEO Jeremy Anwyl said that while the results will be positive, the question remains whether they will truly indicate a turnaround for the long-troubled company, which shed costs and restructured during a 2009 bankruptcy.

"The numbers will be good, and anything over a billion dollars

in profit would be a nice surprise," Anwyl said. "Obviously they had a strong tailwind coming out of bankruptcy.

"The question is, 'what happens to this industry three years from now,'" he said. "The car companies are being disciplined

regarding production now. But that doesn't mean it will continue. In this industry, we forget lessons quickly."

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.