GM beats

General Motors reported first-quarter 2016 earnings on Thursday, and they were a beat: the automaker earned $1.26 per share.

Net revenue was $37.3 billion for the quarter, versus $35.7 a year ago.

Analysts had expected $1.01 per share, an improvement over $0.86 a share in the same quarter last year.

GM is the market-share leader in the US and has a strong position in China, the world’s largest auto market.

In the US, profits are being driven by robust demand for pickup trucks and SUVs, as gas prices remain low and credit readily available.

In the 2015, the US market set a record for sales, as 17.5 million new cars and trucks rolled off dealer lots.

Globally, GM sold 2.36 million vehicles in the first quarter.

NOW WATCH: Learn how to drive a stick shift in the $80,000 Jaguar F-Type

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.