American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. met analysts' expectations, with record sales in the fourth quarter and record net income for the year.
The Detroit-based auto supplier also cut its debt by $121 million in the fourth quarter, earning it an investment-grade rating by Standard & Poor's Ratings Service.
American Axle reported net income of $53 million or 96 cents a share on revenue of $926.1 million for the fourth quarter, which ended Dec. 31. That's up from last year's net income of $52.2 million or 99 cents on revenue of $911 million.
For the year, American Axle reported net income of $197.1 million or $3.70 a share on revenue of $3.7 billion. That compares with $176.1 million or $3.38 on revenue of $3.5 billion in 2002.
The 2002 fourth-quarter and full-year results include a $5.5 million, one-time gain on an insurance settlement.
Sales to customers other than General Motors represented 18.3 percent of sales in 2003, a growth rate of 35 percent. American Axle also boosted research and development spending 12 percent to $60.7 million in 2003.
While GM truck sales dominate American Axle's revenue base, the company is bidding on $750 million of new business, mostly with non-GM customers. American Axle's net new-business backlog is $370 million for 2004-2006.