Lear adjusted income drops 11% in Q4

DETROIT -- Automotive seating and electrical component supplier Lear Corp., profitable all four years since emerging from bankruptcy in November 2009, posted an 11 percent drop in adjusted fourth-quarter profits.

Adjusted net income for the quarter fell to $128.8 million from $144.6 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement today. The year-earlier figure does not include a $767 million onetime tax gain in the United States.

Revenue at the company, which supplies parts to General Motors and Ford Motor Co. among others, rose 14 percent to $4.26 billion in the quarter from $3.72 billion a year earlier.

Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $4.05 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company's adjusted earnings of $1.55 per share missed analysts' expectations by 4 cents. But because of a large share buy-back program that reduced Lear's number of shares outstanding, the company improved its quarterly earnings per share from $1.48 during the same quarter last year.

For the year, Lear posted adjusted net income of $510 million, down from $548 million in 2012. But on a per-share basis, net income grew to $5.90 from $5.49. Lear said it generated $16.2 billion in revenue for the year, up from $14.6 billion in 2012.

The company said sales grew in all of its regions around the world. Lear benefited from North American auto production rising 5 percent to 16.8 million units in 2013. It also benefited from an 8 percent bump in Chinese production along with 2 percent gains in Europe and Africa.

Global vehicle production increased 6 percent in the fourth quarter, with a 5 percent rise in North America

The company maintained the full-year sales forecast it gave two weeks back, expecting sales of $16.9 billion to $17.4 billion. Analysts on average are expecting revenue of $17.08 billion.

Lear ranks No. 11 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers, with worldwide sales to automakers of $14.6 billion in 2012.

You can reach Sean Gagnier at sgagnier@crain.com

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