The government is still $21.5 billion in the hole on the GM bailout. Breaking even would require selling the remaining 300 million shares for an average of about $70 each — more than double the current trading price.
The Treasury Department has held the stock for more than two years, awaiting a better price. 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 this year as the U.S. economy slowed and Europe headed toward recession. Then, a strengthening U.S. auto sales recovery and the stock buyback pushed the price back above $30 for a time.
GM shares closed down $1.29, or 4 percent, at $29.31 on Wednesday.