Ally Financial profit more than doubles on asset sale

DETROIT (AP) - Ally Financial, the former lending arm of General Motors, said its quarterly profit more than doubled, thanks mainly its sale of a stake in an auto-loan company in China.

The results beat Wall Street's expectations, and drove the lender's stock up 49 cents, or 2 percent, to $20.80 in early trading Tuesday morning.

The Detroit-based lender reported first-quarter earnings of $576 million, or $1.06 per share. That's up from $227 million, 33 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

The sale of Ally's 40 percent stake in a joint venture in China at the start of the year contributed nearly $400 million to quarterly profit.

First-quarter earnings, adjusted for non-recurring items, came to 52 cents per share, handily surpassed financial analysts' expectations. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 42 cents per share.

New car loans hit $9.8 billion in the quarter, a 7 percent increase from the same period of last year. Deposits at Ally Bank reached $50.6 billion, up 12 percent.

Total revenue was $1.09 billion in the period, down from $1.14 billion the year before and also short of analysts' forecasts. Analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.17 billion.

Shares in Ally Financial Inc. have fallen 14 percent since the beginning of the year. The stock has declined 17 percent in the last 12 months.

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Parts of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on ALLY at http://www.zacks.com/ap/ALLY.

Published: Thu, Apr 30, 2015

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