General Motors on Wednesday reported a jump in quarterly earnings on strong auto sales as it boosted its dividend.
GM, the largest US automaker, said net income grew 21 percent to $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter.
Operating earnings improved in three of the four regional segments. In Europe, GM lost $393 million in the quarter compared with a loss of $365 million a year ago.
Worldwide auto sales grew 3.3 percent in the quarter to 2.6 million, with big gains in North America and the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa segments offsetting drops in Europe and South America.
GM's earnings were trimmed by an $800 million payment for the redemption of preferred shares.
"A strong fourth quarter helped us deliver very good core operating results in 2014 despite significant challenges we and the industry faced," said GM chief executive Mary Barra.
Based on the results, GM said it would ask its board to boost its dividend on common shares by 20 percent to 36 cents per share.
For the year, GM's earnings fell 26.3 percent to $2.8 billion. The results were hit by $2.8 billion in charges related to recalls after an ignition problem linked to at least 51 fatalities.
GM's quarterly results, excluding one-time items, translated into $1.19 per share, better than the 83 cents projected by Wall Street analysts.
GM shares rose 4.9 percent in pre-market trade to $35.65.