CHICAGO (Reuters) -- Auto parts maker ArvinMeritor Inc. said Wednesday that its quarterly earnings fell due to higher costs and a charge for its unsuccessful attempt to take over competitor Dana Corp.
The company said higher pension and retiree medical costs and expenses for product launches weighed on results.
The maker of axles, brakes, exhaust and suspension systems said its net income in the first fiscal quarter ended Dec. 31 declined to $19 million, or 28 cents a share, from $32 million, or 47 cents a share, a year ago.
Analysts had expected 30 cents a share, with estimates ranging from 28 cents to 35 cents, according to Reuters Research, a unit of Reuters Group PLC.
First-quarter sales, however, rose 28 percent to $2.18 billion, helped by the stronger euro and the acquisition of the remaining stake in Zeuna Starker GmbH & Co., a German joint venture dealing in auto emissions technology.
Sales would have been up about 8 percent without those items, primarily due to strong demand for heavy-duty truck parts, ArvinMeritor said.
The Troy, Mich., supplier reiterated its full-year 2004 outlook for a profit of $2.20 to $2.40 a share.
In November, the company called off an ambitious hostile takeover attempt of bigger rival Dana Corp. after Dana's board rejected the sweetened $18-a-share tender.