On to the next page, our sales increase of slightly more than 3% was one percentage point better than our guidance. The year-over-year margin decline of approximately 2% was due to higher raw material and R&D expense and our facility investments for growth along with underutilized facilities in Europe as a consequence of the sharp decline in light vehicle production. The negative raw material price effect of $15 million was in line with our expectation and should remain flat throughout the remainder of the year. Excluding the effects of the capacity alignment costs, our return on capital employed and return on equity remain very strong at 26 and 17% respectively.
And lastly, our dividend paid to shareholders in the first quarter of $0.45 per share was the highest ever, and the total dividend amount paid was 29% higher than the previous high before the financial crisis in 2007. Since reinstating the dividend in 2010, we have returned almost one-third of our free cash flow to shareholders.
Turning the page, we have the quarter one light vehicle production according to IHS. The light vehicle production was up 6% year-over-year. Our organic sales growth of 5% was according to our guidance. We continued to outperform global light vehicle production in regions except North America and Japan, and that’s due to the tsunami rebound effect. Since we have relatively low content in Japanese vehicles, this creates a temporary negative effect. Excluding the tsunami effect, we believe we would have outperformed the global light vehicle production with approximately 2%.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV