General Motors Corp. said it will fall far short of fourth-quarter earnings estimates because it's spending more than expected to launch its new cars. GM told analysts it expects to earn about 60 cents a share, compared with their forecasts of about 99 cents a share--the average estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by First Call Corp. GM earned $1.87 billion, or $1.98 a share, in the year-earlier period. Investors had expected a poor fourth quarter because labor strikes in October cost the auto maker $700 million in lost production. GM also said that slow year-end sales were forcing it to cut prices with rebates, hurting new-car loan business at General Motors Acceptance Corp. It expects to report lower sales in December than a year ago. GM's stock fell $1.375 to close at $54.50 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Times Staff and Wire Reports
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