* CEO: restructuring of suppliers more than half-way done
* CEO: will take 'a few years' to get double-digit margins
* Shares down nearly 11 pct in midday trading
(Adds share price drop, CEO interview, outlook)
DETROIT, March 9 Auto parts maker Visteon Corp
(VC.N), which emerged from bankruptcy last year, reported lower
fourth-quarter operating profit on Wednesday and said it was
scouting for acquisitions.
Visteon shares fell nearly 11 percent after the company
posted a drop in sales and earnings compared with the
year-earlier period, when it was in bankruptcy.
The company, which counts Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) and
Ford Motor Co (F.N) among its largest customers, said it
expects 2011 sales of $7.3 billion to $7.5 billion.
It forecast earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation
and amortization of $620 million to $660 million.
Visteon projected EBITDA margins of 8.6 percent this year.
Its goal is to get margins in the low double-digits, which will
take a few years, Chief Executive Don Stebbins said.
Visteon was spun off from Ford in 2000 and filed for
Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May 2009, a casualty of the auto
industry crisis that sent General Motors (GM.N) and Chrysler
Stebbins said the business outlook for auto parts suppliers
has stabilized, and the industrywide restructuring was half-way
to three-quarters complete.
"There are suppliers that have not completed their
restructuring," Stebbins told Reuters in an interview. "They
have not gotten their houses in order and as volumes ramp up, I
think they may have a difficult time."
Visteon posted fourth-quarter operating earnings of $86
million, or $1.66 a share, compared with $276 million, or $2.12
a share, a year earlier.
Including gains of $1.06 billion from its bankruptcy
reorganization, it earned $1.13 billion in the latest quarter.
The company emerged from bankruptcy on Oct 1.
Fourth-quarter sales fell to $1.89 billion from $1.97
billion as divestitures and plant closures partly offset higher
Stebbins said the company was scouting for acquisition
targets. He said "green" technology and connectivity within
vehicles -- electronics such as global positioning systems and
MP3 players -- are two areas the company could develop.
"Each one of our businesses has its own strengths and
weaknesses," Stebbins said, adding that "there may be
opportunities to strengthen one of those business lines."
Visteon shares were down $7.98 to $65.72 on the New York
(Reporting by Ben Klayman and Deepa Seetharaman, editing by
Gerald E. McCormick and John Wallace)