Tenneco Automotive

(TEN) - Get Report

reported a fourth-quarter loss this morning that beat Wall Street's lowered expectations by a nickel.

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, Tenneco lost $21 million, or 56 cents a share, before charges. Five analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

initially expected the company, which is based in Lake Forrest, Ill., to post a loss of 56 cents a share, but lowered those expectations to 61 cents a share. In the same quarter one year ago, the company earned $1 million, or 5 cents a share.

Tenneco, a maker of automotive emissions and ride control products, cited tough auto industry conditions and its highly leveraged position as factors in its loss. The company also reported fourth-quarter revenue of $849 million, up from $806 million in the year-ago period.

Shares of Tenneco gained 6 cents, or 1.6%, to $3.79 in recent

New York Stock Exchange

trading.