Tenneco Automotive

(TEN) - Get Report

reported third-quarter earnings that beat analysts' estimates for the period and disclosed plans to immediately eliminate 285 salaried positions in North America as part of a cost-reduction plan to cut up to 700 positions from its worldwide salaried work force.

Excluding a stock buyback program and a reserve reversal, income from continuing operations was $9 million, or 23 cents a diluted share, compared with income from continuing operations of $27 million, or 86 cents a share, in the year-ago period. If the company had incurred the same level of stand-alone and interest costs in 1999 as it did in 2000, income from continuing operations for the third quarter of 1999 would have been $8 million, or 24 cents a share.

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Wall Street was expecting the company, a maker of ride control and exhaust systems and products, to earn 20 cents a share for the quarter, according to a

First Call/Thomson Financial

survey of four analysts.

Tenneco said it expects to record a charge of up to a $60 million in the fourth quarter, of which up to $30 million could be cash, to cover many reductions, and for other operational restructuring activities included in the cost-cutting initiative.

The company reported third-quarter revenue of $870 million, including $48 million in pass-through revenue from catalytic converter sales. Revenue in the year-ago period totaled $816 million, which didn't include pass-through revenue from catalytic converter sales.