General Motors’ first-quarter net income fell 60 per cent, but the company handily beat Wall Street estimates as US sales rose.

The Detroit automaker says it made just over $1 billion from January through March, or 77 cents per share. A year ago the company made $2.6 billion, or $1.70 per share. But excluding one-time costs such as restructuring in South Korea, the company made $1.43 per share.

Revenue fell 3 per cent to $36.1 billion. GM says earnings and revenue fell because shipments to dealers dropped as factories were closed to retool for new full-size pickup trucks. But GM’s US sales from dealers to buyers rose 3.8 per cent. Shares rose more than 3 per cent in Thursday premarket trading.