DETROIT -- Tenneco Inc. CEO Gregg Sherrill reassured the financial markets that he is bullish on the supplier's growth forecasts because of Tenneco's emissions products and the emergence of regulations in developing nations.
Sherrill said Tenneco has held up well over the downturn because of a combination of product mix and geographic diversity. He made his comments today during the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2009 Credit Conference in New York.
Sherrill said Tenneco's emissions control business is No. 1 in China. The company has five majority-owned joint ventures there, including eight just-in-time operations.
Tenneco is well-positioned to benefit from the longer-term growth in emission controls expected to come as global emissions regulations are phased in over the next five to seven years, according to a CreditSights.com. report written by analyst John Poehling.
The Lake Forrest, Ill., supplier also is looking forward to significant growth opportunities in the so-called BRIC nations: Brazil, Russia, India and China.
“Geographic growth is very important," Sherrill told Wall Street analysts. But “the real growth will come in Asia.”
Tenneco was hit hard by production cuts at its two largest customers, General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. The parts maker posted sales of $1.25 billion for the third quarter, compared with $1.49 billion for the year-ago period.
Tenneco slashed costs, eliminating 600 hourly and 500 salaried positions and closing three North American plants for $58 million in savings.
The company ranks No. 35 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers, with sales to automakers of $4.79 billion in 2008.
Tenneco stock closed today at $15.01 a share on the New York Stock Exchange, down 0.3 percent.