Strong US sales power GM’s Q3 earnings beat

General Motors, profiting from strong North American sales, posted better-than-expected earnings for the third quarter and painted an upbeat outlook for the fourth quarter and for 2014.

During a conference call with analysts, CEO Dan Akerson said his company is in “an unstoppable position.”

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That position is fueled by GM’s posting a third-quarter profit margin in North America of 9.3 percent—the highest in two years.

“Market share was up, revenue up, profits up, cash flow up, so really a strong quarter across the board,” said CFO Dan Ammann during an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

New trucks thriving, no dividend yet

One reason for GM bringing in $2.2 billion in North America last quarter is the success of the new Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pick-up trucks. Akerson told analysts the launch of the redesigned trucks has been “near textbook perfect.” Year-to-date, GM’s pick-up sales are up 21 percent, slightly ahead of the pace of truck sales for the industry.

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Meanwhile with GM now holding $26 Billion in cash, many on Wall Street are asking when the automaker will return some of that money to shareholders through a dividend. On the company conference call, CEO Dan Akerson said the company has a few technical issues to get past in the next few quarters before that happens.

Ammann echoed Akerson’s sentiments: “Priority number one is to reinvest in the business, priority number two is to maintain and strengthen our fortress balance sheet, which we are continuing to do including activities through this quarter and priority number three is to generate returns of cash to our shareholders and that is something we will continue to evaluate over time.”

—By CNBC’s Phil LeBeau. Follow him on Twitter @LeBeauCarNews

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