UPDATE 1-Lear to buy back more shares, offer notes

Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:17am EST

Jan 14 (Reuters) - Auto parts maker Lear Corp nearly doubled its share buyback program and launched plans to boost liquidity by $1 billion through a notes offering and a new credit facility.

"These actions are expected to improve the company's financial flexibility, extend debt maturities and significantly increase cash returned to shareholders over the next three years," Lear said.

The company increased its share repurchase program by $800 million to $1.5 billion, saying its shares were undervalued.

The Southfield, Michigan-based company will offer senior unsecured notes of $500 million due 2023 and sign a $1 billion revolving line of credit, replacing its $500 million facility.

Lear said it will use the cash to redeem $70 million in aggregate principal amount of existing notes in 2013, buy back shares and invest in additional component capabilities and emerging markets.

Lear, which reaffirmed its 2012 forecast, said it expects 2013 sales of $15 billion to $15.5 billion. Analysts were expecting 2013 sales of $15.02 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Lear expects 2012 sales of about $14.5 billion

The company expects 2013 core operating earnings of $725 million to $775 million. Sales backlog for 2013 to 2015 is $1.8 billion, it said.

Lear's shares closed at $48.01 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

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