If GM could achieve its target of 10 percent margin, then it may generate up to $15 billion in profits and record net income in excess of $10 billion, based on the level of revenue GM had last year. That revenue is estimated at close to $150 billion, the newspaper said.
GM confirmed the income calculations, the Journal said.
Also, GM is likely to report 2011 net income of about $8 billion when it releases results on February 16, its highest ever, helped by growth in China and strong profits in North America, the Journal said, citing people who have seen the figures.
GM was not immediately available for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.
General Motors regained its title as the world's top-selling automaker in 2011, less than three years after its 2009 taxpayer-funded bankruptcy under the Obama administration.
(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)