Visteon Q4 profits rise, capping 'very good' year

Leuliette: 'Strong finish'
UPDATED: 2/25/14 11:30 am ET -- adds annual profit figures

DETROIT (Reuters) -- Auto parts supplier Visteon Corp. posted a rise in quarterly profit and reaffirmed its 2014 financial projections.

Net income increased to $513 million in the fourth quarter, aided by $465 million in gains related to the sale of its stake in a Chinese joint venture. A year earlier, Visteon earned $39 million. Sales rose 7.4 percent to $1.96 billion.

For 2013, Visteon posted its fifth consecutive annual profit, $690 million, compared with $100 million in 2012. Sales for the year were $7.44 billion, up 8 percent. Visteon posted its first annual profit since being spun off by Ford in 2009.

"We delivered a strong finish to a very good year," said CEO Tim Leuliette. "We achieved double-digit sales increases in North America and Asia," he said, citing demand for the company's climate-control and electronics technology.

In the quarter, South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co and its Kia affiliate accounted for about 35 percent of sales, while Ford Motor Co represented one-quarter.

Asia accounted for half of all sales, up four percentage points from the prior year, while Europe was down 1 point to 29 percent. North and South America represented 17 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

Visteon said it expects 2014 sales at a midpoint of $7.8 billion and adjusted earnings at a midpoint of $680 million, repeating its forecast from last month. Analysts expect 2014 sales of $7.99 billion and adjusted earnings of $697 million.

Per-share earnings for the quarter were $10.32, up from 74 cents in the year-earlier period. Excluding the gain from the divestiture and onetime costs, the company earned $1.93 a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S expected $1.45 a share.