Lear Corp.’s net income may have declined in the first quarter; however, its overall business improved, driven by gains in North America. In a statement, the auto interiors and electronics supplier said that profits were offset partly by bigger product development costs. The net income that could be attributed to shareholders fell to $134.1 million, or $1.32 per share, from $156.0 million, or $1.44 per share, the previous year.
Its revenue increased by 4% to $3.64 billion. The global industry production volumes in North America and Japan were affected by an increase in production after the calamity in Japan.
Lear’s output in Japan had nearly doubled. In April, U.S. auto sales grew 2.3% as U.S. shoppers wanted to replace their aging cars and trucks and the U.S. economy became stronger. Two of Lear’s biggest customers are BMW and Ford Motor Co. BMW has increased its sales in the U.S. by 14% while Ford had a 5% boost. Lear’s sales in North America grew by 15% to $1.39 billion.
For the quarter ended March 31, its seating segment sales (its biggest unit) increased by 3% to $2.8 billion. Lear's earnings per share surpassed Wall Street expectations. Thomson Reuters said that analysts believed that Lear will earn $1.22 per share on revenue of $3.60 billion. For the entire year, Lear’s sales are expected to reach $13.85 billion to $14.35 billion. On average, analysts expect $14.47 billion. It was also disclosed that the purchase price for specialty textile producer Guilford Mills is around $260 million.