General Motors Co posted a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit as it gained market share in North American and Asian markets.

But the U.S. automaker expects to miss its target for the year to break even in Europe due to deteriorating conditions in the region, where the company just announced it would change its top executive.

GM's net income in the third quarter fell to $1.7 billion, or $1.03 a share, compared with $2 billion, or $1.20 a share, in the year earlier period.

Analysts had expected 96 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose to $36.7 billion from $34.1 billion last year. That was in line with analysts' expectations.

The No. 1 U.S. automaker also said the underfunded status on its U.S. pensions stood at $8.7 billion at the end of September, down from $10.8 billion at the end of June. However, that was according to the valuation set at the end of 2010 and will be revalued at the end of this year.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman and Deepa Seetharaman in Detroit; Editing by Derek Caney)