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GM on track for 'record profitability': Analyst

Despite its recent troubles, General Motors could see robust growth in the next few years, auto analyst for Sterne Agee Mike Ward said Tuesday.

Light-vehicle sales in the United States could reach 15.5 million to 16.5 million annually over the next five years, he said on CNBC's "Fast Money."

"In that environment, you will see record profitability and record cash flow from General Motors," he said.

GM, he added, was also on track to break even in its European operations and receive about $1.7 billion in dividends from their Chinese operations. Volatility in South America wasn't enough to have an effect on the company's bottom line, Ward said.

A congressional hearing into General Motors' ignition switch failures that resulted in a least 13 deaths began Tuesday.

Read MoreBarra to Congress: We've called in Ken Feinberg

Ward said that he expected shares of Ford and GM to move higher, Ford from its momentum in pickup trucks and GM because of its low valuation.

"And I think you'll see both companies with strong incremental earnings in 2015, so I like them both," he added.

Risk Reversal's Dan Nathan said that it was important to separate the recent headlines from the company's outlook. GM, he noted, was expected to increase earnings 17 percent this year and 32 percent next year.

"What is different today than at least 10 days ago, when we knew this stuff was coming down the pike?" asked Tim Seymour of EmergingMoney.com.

Seymour also pointed out that auto stocks had recently pulled back from multiyear highs.

"They all pulled back on economic data that was questioning whether there was real industrial growth globally," he said. "They're all a buy."

Stuart Frankel's Steve Grasso thought upside was more likely in Ford.

"Ford is definitely where people are going, maybe not to buy their cars but to buy their stock," he said.

Disclosure: Tim Seymour is long GM, F; Dan Nathan is GM long May call spread, Steve Grasso's firm is long GM; Pete Najarian is long calls GM.

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