* Q3 EPS ex-items $1.47 vs Street 78 cents
* TRW forecasts 2010 sales at $14.1 bln
* TRW shares up 4.2 percent
DETROIT, Nov 3 (Reuters) - TRW Automotive Holdings Corp TRW.N said on Wednesday that quarterly profit more than tripled as its customers’ increased vehicle production supported sales, and its shares rose more than 4 percent.
TRW, which makes auto safety equipment such as airbags and electronic stability controls systems, raised its full-year sales forecast and said the overall auto industry recovery would support a strong year for company.
Net income rose to $199 million, or $1.54 per share, in the third quarter, from $56 million, or 50 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, TRW reported earnings of $1.47 per share. On that basis, analysts on average expected 78 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose 10 percent to $3.4 billion, while analysts expected $3.15 billion.
TRW said increased vehicle production and restructuring in recent years to reduce costs supported results. Negative currency movements and a modest increase in raw materials prices pressured results.
The beat was solid even after accounting for a tax rate that was lower than expected and some potentially nonrecurring benefits, JPMorgan analyst Himanshu Patel said in a note.
TRW raised its full-year sales forecast to $14.1 billion from a range of $13.2 billion to $13.6 billion disclosed with its second-quarter earnings release. The 2010 forecast includes expectations for fourth-quarter sales of about $3.4 billion.
Shares of TRW were up 4.2 percent at $48.96 on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by David Bailey; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)