CHICAGO -- Auto parts maker ArvinMeritor Inc. on Wednesday said strong commercial truck demand boosted its quarterly profit, but it trimmed its full-year outlook amid expectations of softer light-vehicle production.
The maker of axles, brakes, and exhaust and suspension systems said net income rose to $53 million, or 77 cents a share, in the third quarter ended June 30 from $47 million, or 69 cents a share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of 72 cents a share, from a range of 70 cents to 75 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.
Orders for heavy-duty trucks have surged this year as the U.S. economy rebounded and freight haulers replaced aging vehicles purchased during the last industry boom in the late 1990s.
ArvinMeritor of Troy, Mich., said third-quarter sales climbed 13 percent to $2.4 billion.
In the light-vehicle systems division, sales rose 5 percent to $1.25 billion from a year ago, while commercial vehicle systems sales jumped 34 percent to $862 million.
The company said it expects full-year earnings of $2.20 to $2.25 per share, at the low end of its previous estimate of $2.20 to $2.40. But it boosted its sales forecast to $9.1 billion from $9 billion due to the strong truck market.
It forecast fourth-quarter earnings of 55 to 60 cents a share.
Analysts had expected ArvinMeritor to earn $2.15 a share for the full year and 62 cents a share in the fourth quarter, according to Reuters Estimates.
ArvinMeritor lowered its outlook for 2004 industrywide North American light-vehicle production to 15.9 million, down slightly from its previous estimate of 16.1 million vehicles.
But it increased its forecast for industry Class 8 truck production in North America to 234,000 units from its previous estimates of 227,000 units.
ArvinMeritor is 18th on the Automotive News ranking of top suppliers to North American automakers in 2003 with $1.95 billion in sales.