* Says Q1 EPS 22 cents include UAW-related charges
* Q1 revenue $521.9 mln, touch below Street estimate
* Revised 2010 revenue guidance below Street view
* Shares down 8.9 percent
(Adds CFO interview)
By Soyoung Kim
DETROIT, April 30 American Axle & Manufacturing
Holdings Inc (AXL.N) posted a quarterly profit on Friday aided
by cost cuts and higher auto production, but disappointed Wall
Street with a tepid 2010 sales outlook.
The auto parts supplier, whose shares fell nearly 9
percent, forecast full-year 2010 sales would rise at least 30
percent to a range of $2 billion to $2.1 billion, raising the
bottom end of its previous $1.9 billion to $2.1 billion
Wall Street on average projects 2010 sales of $2.17
billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"I think it's a little bit early to be celebrating a very
strong recovery in auto sales," Chief Financial Officer Mike
Simonte told Reurters.
"Vehicle sales have been off to a reasonable start in 2010,
but not as strong as what we're expecting for the rest of the
year. We'd rather see a little bit more from the macro
economics standpoint before we change our plan."
However, big cost cuts made during the wrenching industry
downturn would allow American Axle to be "solidly profitable"
this year, which would mark its first annual profit since 2007,
Over the past week, most U.S. auto suppliers, including
Johnson Controls Inc (JCI.N) and BorgWarner Inc (BWA.N)
reported quarterly profits that far exceeded Wall Street
expectations. They also boosted their 2010 financial outlooks,
benefiting from big cost cuts as U.S. auto sales rebound from
their worst downturn in 27 years.
American Axle reported net income of $16.3 million, or 22
cents per share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $32.7
million, or 59 cents per share, which included a charge for
Sales rose 30 percent to $521.9 million.
Analysts on average had expected American Axle to earn 22
cents per share on sales of $535.6 million, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Simonte said the first quarter results included a one-time
charge related to benefits the company earlier agreed to pay
its hourly workers represented by the United Auto Workers
"If we were to adjust our Q1 results to exclude this item,
our earnings would have been higher than the high end of the
range of sell side estimates," Simonte said on a conference
call with analysts.
Barclays Capital analyst Brian Johnson said the charge
could have cost American Axle up to 6 cents per share in the
Simonte added the company's financial outlook is based on
U.S. auto sales of 11 million to 11.5 million units this year,
about 500,000 lower than most industry estimates.
"We are happy to be conservative in our planning," Simonte
"To be clear, we can easily conceive of many reasonable
scenarios ... in which the full year 2010 sales could exceed
our current guidance. However, we would rather be cautiously
optimistic and avoid making commitments to exceed our ability
American Axle, which narrowly averted bankruptcy in
September by amending credit agreements and winning financial
aid from its top customer, General Motors Co [GM.UL], said it
had more than $500 million in total available liquidity.
American Axle shares were down 8.9 percent at $10.70 in
afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Soyoung Kim; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Derek