UPDATE 1-Visteon profit tops estimates, affirms outlook; shares rise

Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:48am EST

Feb 25 (Reuters) - Visteon Corp, the auto parts maker, posted a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday and reaffirmed its forecasts for 2014, sending its shares up in morning trading.

Net income surged to $513 million, or $10.32 a share, in the fourth quarter, compared with $39 million, or 74 cents a share, in the year earlier period. The most recent period included $465 million in gains related to the sale of the company's stake in a Chinese joint venture.

Excluding the gain from the divestiture and one-time costs, the company earned $1.93 a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S expected $1.45 a share.

Sales rose 7.4 percent from the previous year to $1.96 billion, driven by stronger demand in the company's climate business in Asia and North America. Analysts expected $1.93 billion.

In the quarter, South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co and its Kia affiliate accounted for about 35 percent of sales, while Ford Motor Co represented one quarter.

Asia accounted for half of all sales, up four percentage points from the prior year, while Europe was down 1 point to 29 percent. North and South America represented 17 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

Visteon said it expects 2014 sales at a midpoint of $7.8 billion and adjusted earnings at a midpoint of $680 million, repeating its forecast from last month. Analysts expect 2014 sales of $7.99 billion and adjusted earnings of $697 million.

In the fourth quarter, Visteon sold its 50 percent stake in China's Yanfeng Visteon Automotive Trim Systems Co (YFV) to Huayu Automotive Systems Co for $928 million before taxes. Visteon also received about $180 million in dividend distributions from YFV and related entities based on previously undistributed earnings for 2012 and 2013.

Visteon said it expects to receive more than $1 billion in total after-tax proceeds as a result of the series of transactions.

The company's shares were up 14 cents, or less than 1 percent, at $85.75 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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