In the third quarter, American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. posted a profit that was higher than what was expected. Its sales forecast for the fourth quarter fell short of estimates from Wall Street. American Axle posted a net profit of $38.8 million, or 52 cents per share, compared with a year-ago profit of $19.6 million, or 35 cents a share.
Analysts expected earnings of 39 cents per share. This week, third-quarter results from auto suppliers this week displayed big gains in revenue and profit.
Those that posted net profit gains include American Axle (up 98%); BorgWarner (up 520%); Lear Corp. (up 287%); Johnson Controls Inc. (up 33%); and Federal-Mogul Corp. (up 430%).
These companies have reduced costs ever since the slump in 2009, which was when US auto sales were at their lowest in 27 years.
Their gains have outdone the growth in auto sales, which many automakers and analysts including J.D. Power and Associates predict to end this year near 11.5 million vehicles, compared to 10.4 million vehicles in 2009.
Meanwhile, American Axle predicted full-year 2010 sales growth at 45% to 50%, higher than the forecast of 40% to 45% three months ago.
Nonetheless, this forecast implied that fourth-quarter revenue would fall between $507 million and $583 million, according to J.P. Morgan analyst Himanshu Patel. [via autonews - sub. required]