By TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writer
DETROIT (AP) – The Treasury Department said in its March report to Congress that it sold $621 million worth of GM common stock last month.
The report dated Wednesday says the government has recovered about $30.4 billion of the $49.5 billion bailout it gave the Detroit automaker. That means taxpayers are still $19.1 billion in the hole.
The Treasury says the price per share will be revealed at a later date.
GM stock sold in a range of $26.75 to $29.30 in March. At the midpoint of $28, the government would have sold roughly 22.2 million shares.
That would leave it with about 255 million shares. Those would have to sell for around $75 each for the government to break even, more than double the current trading price. GM shares closed up 84 cents, or 3 percent, at $28.37 amid a broad market rally on Wednesday.
In January, the Treasury announced a plan to sell the shares by early 2014 and said that it hired JPMorgan Securities and Citigroup Global Markets to conduct the sale. The banks will get one cent for every share they sell, for a fee of up to $3 million.
When the government finally sells all of its shares, it will end a sad chapter in GM’s history. The company nearly ran out of cash in 2008 and needed government money to survive a trip through bankruptcy reorganization. Since then GM has posted 12 straight profitable quarters. Last year the company bought 200 million of its shares from the government for $5.5 billion.
GM shares sold for $33 each when they began publicly trading again in November, 2010. The shares rose shortly after the sale but fell dramatically early last year as the economy slowed and Europe headed toward recession. A strengthening U.S. economy and the stock buyback have pushed the shares higher.
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