Stronger fourth-quarter sales and earlier cost-cutting efforts helped wheel supplier Superior Industries International Inc. cut its loss in the fourth quarter.
The company reported today that its full-year 2009 net loss was $94.1 million, compared with a loss of $26 million in 2008. Net sales for the year dropped 44.5 percent to $336 million.
Superior, which supplies aluminum wheels to Ford Motor Co., and Toyota Motor Corp. and other automakers, reported a fourth-quarter loss of $3.9 million, compared with a loss of $20.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Fourth-quarter net sales fell 4.5 percent to $145 million from the same period in 2008. But sales were up 30 percent from the third quarter of 2009.
Sales topped analysts' estimates, Brett Hoselton an analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets, said in an e-mail report.
Superior CEO Steven Borick said in a statement that “difficult decisions in the last few years to reduce and manage costs, as well as rationalize production capacity in reaction to the significant business challenges presented by our major automotive customers” were factors in the improved fourth quarter.
During 2009, Superior recorded impairment costs totaling $11.8 million associated with the closures of its Pittsburg, Kan., and Van Nuys, Calif., plants and other downsizing.
The company, which is based in suburban Los Angeles, has no debt.
Superior ranks No. 54 on the Automotive News list of the top 150 North American suppliers with $775 million in sales from automakers in 2008.