DETROIT ( TheStreet) --

Chrysler, now part of Italy's Fiat, lost $3.8 billion from June 10, when it exited bankrupcty, through Dec. 31, 2009.

Chrysler said it lost $197 million in the first three months of 2010 but posted a profit on an operating basis.

Chrysler said its pretax operating profit in the first quarter was $143 million.

"This positive operating result in the first quarter is a concrete indication to our customers, dealers and suppliers that the 2010 targets we have set for ourselves are achievable," said CEO Sergio Marchionne, who also heads Fiat. "We are also generating cash to finance the investments being made in our product portfolio and brand repositioning."

Chrysler said first-quarter revenue was $9.7 billion, up 3% from the fourth quarter.

Chrysler said it generated almost $1.5 billion in cash during the first quarter. Total cash reserves as of March 31 were $7.4 billion.

Chrysler's U.S. market share rose to 9.1% in the first quarter vs. 8.1% a year earlier.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.DETROIT (AP) -- Chrysler Group LLC lost a staggering $3.8 billion from the time it left bankruptcy protection June 10 through the end of last year, but the automaker says its fortunes improved dramatically in the first quarter.The struggling company, now run by Italy's Fiat Group SpA, cut its net loss to $197 million from January through March and said it posted an operating profit from selling cars and trucks, before interest and taxes.Moreover, Chrysler said it generated $1.5 billion in cash during the quarter, raising its reserves to $7.4 billion and reducing the likelihood that it will need more government aid. And the company predicted its operations would break even or be slightly profitable this year.The Auburn Hills, Mich., automaker said Wednesday that it made an operating profit of $143 million in the first quarter, excluding taxes and interest."This positive operating result in the first quarter is a concrete indication to our customers, dealers and suppliers that the 2010 targets we have set for ourselves are achievable," CEO Sergio Marchionne, who also heads Fiat, said in a statement. "We are also generating cash to finance the investments being made in our product portfolio and brand repositioning."First-quarter revenue was $9.7 billion, up 3 percent from the fourth quarter, the company said. Revenue for the post-bankruptcy period of last year was $17.7 billion.Chrysler said its operating loss for the last half of 2009 was $895 million.

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