General Motors may have been out of bankruptcy protection, but it wasn't out of the woods. In the six months since it was largely taken over by the U.S. government, GM lost $4.3 billion. Much of the loss comes from the pretax impact of a $2.6 billion payment to the UAW retiree health-care trust fund. Still, despite the staggering number, GM executives say they have completed a positive first step on the road back to becoming a publicly owned company. "As the results for 2009 show, there is still significant work to be done," said GM's chief financial officer. "However, I continue to believe we have a chance of achieving profitability in 2010." The company also hopes to have an initial public offering in the second half of next year.