American Axle reports backlog of $900 million for 2014-16

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American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. said its backlog of new and incremental business beginning from 2014 through 2016 is estimated at $900 million. The company's estimate a year ago for its 2013-2015 backlog was $1.25 billion.

"It's not that we're not growing, it's just the way the figures settle," said Chris Son, director of investor relations for American Axle. "When you carve out 2013 the numbers look a bit different, but we still expect to see 18 percent growth in 2014 over what we've predicted."

American Axle released its backlog figure in a statement earlier this week.

The company's backlog -- an accumulation of work that has yet to be completed -- includes several projects with its largest customer, General Motors, which had 73 percent of its business in 2012. The current backlog includes an EcoTrac disconnecting driveline system for the Jeep Cherokee and a rear drive module for the Cadillac ATS. Electric and hybrid systems for a future Qoros model are also planned for the Israeli-Chinese automaker.

Seventy percent of the backlog is for customers other than GM, and two-thirds of the backlog is slated for passenger car and crossover vehicle programs. Geographically, 70 percent of the backlog is for programs outside of the United States -- mainly in Brazil, China, India and Thailand.

KeyBanc Capital Markets wrote on Monday that the future sales forecast helped to mitigate disappointment because of lower-than-expected sales numbers.

According to a KeyBanc report, 2013 sales for American Axle are expected to come in at $3.21 billion, below the $3.26 billion that analysts had expected.

American Axle ranks No. 66 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers, with worldwide sales to automakers of $2.93 billion in 2012.

You can reach Sean Gagnier at sgagnier@crain.com.


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