Detroit - General Motors posted an $8.1 billion net profit for 2018 as it got better prices for vehicles sold in the U.S., its most lucrative market.
The performance was far better than the previous year, when the company lost $3.9 billion after a giant tax accounting charge.
GM made $10.8 billion before taxes in North America, meaning big profit-sharing checks for about 46,500 union workers in the U.S. They'll get $10,750 each, down from last year's $11,500.
In another promising note for workers, the company also said it's adding 1,000 positions to its plant in Flint, Michigan, that makes pickups. That's to handle production of the newly announced 2020 Silverado HD. However, many of those jobs will go to workers "from unallocated plants," according to President Mark Reuss.
The company said Wednesday that it made $5.58 per share for the year. Without special items for restructuring, the profit was $6.54, beating Wall Street expectations of $6.29.
For the fourth quarter of 2018, GM's net income was $2 billion, or $1.40 per share. Excluding restructuring charges, the company made $1.43, beating Wall Street estimates of $1.24.
In premarket trading on Wednesday, the shares were up 4 percent, or $1.58, to $39.30.