CHICAGO -- Auto parts supplier American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. on Thursday confirmed its 2004 earnings will finish in the range it previously forecast.
The axle, driveshaft and chassis maker said, excluding one-time items, it expects to earn about $3.40 a share, compared with its October forecast that it would earn between $3.40 to $3.50 a share.
However, the forecast was below the $3.43 analysts were expecting, according to Reuters Estimates.
Including one-time items, American Axle, based in Detroit, expects to earn about $160 million, or $3.00 a share, in 2004.
The results include a one-time charge of $23.5 million, or 29 cents a share, related to debt financing and redemptions in the first quarter of 2004 and a charge of $10 million, or 13 cents a share, for separation payments to hourly employees.
Several large U.S. parts makers have warned in the past that rising raw materials costs and production cuts by General Motors and Ford Motor Co. would hurt results. More than 80 percent of American Axle's 2003 net sales came from GM.
In September, American Axle said higher oil, steel and metals prices had slowed a general U.S. economic recovery and prompted its customers to soften 2004 second-half production schedules.
American Axle also said on Thursday that it hit its target of $200 million in net cash flow provided by operations last year. After deducting cash dividends, the company's free cash flow was about $190 million.