GM Gives Out Stock Bonuses for First time Since 2003

For the first time since 2003, General Motors is giving bonuses in the form of stock to Chairman and Chief Executive Rick Wagoner and other top executives.

Wagoner received restricted stock valued at $2.8 million and 500,000 options, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company will disclose full compensation details in its annual proxy, which will be released in April.

The world biggest automaker reported last week that it swung to a profit in the fourth quarter but fell short of Wall Street expectations on mounting mortgage losses from its former finance unit.

Analysts say that among struggling Detroit automakers, GM has made the most progress toward a financial turnaround.

The company's net loss narrowed to $2 billion in 2006 from $10.4 billion in 2005. Ford Motor lost $12.7 billion last year, while DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler unit lost almost $1.5 billion.

GM said it remains on track to cut structural costs by $9 billion this year compared with 2005, before it began a sweeping restructuring.

The automaker, which is expected to be challenged for the top spot in global sales by Toyota Motor in 2007, is banking on the success of many new products this year, including new sport utility vehicles, which were hurt last year as high gas prices drove consumers to more fuel-efficient vehicles.