The world's biggest auto-parts suppliers were covered in red Thursday as investors took an overall dim view of the uneven outlooks coming from the sector.
One of the names under pressure was
, a maker of components for vehicle powertrains, whose shares dropped $2.48, or 4.3%, to $55.82.
The company is projecting 2006 earnings of $4.22 to $4.57 a share when calculated according to generally accepted accounting principles. The estimate includes a reduction of 16 cents to 18 cents a share for implementing an accounting change and another of 12 cents to 25 cents from weaker foreign currencies relative to the U.S. dollar.
Excluding the effect of those items, BorgWarner said this year's earnings increase should be in line with its historical growth rates of around 10%. Adding back the high estimate from both ranges would imply a 2006 profit, prior to the costs, of as much as $4.65 to $5 a share. On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call are looking for earnings of $4.91 this year.
BorgWarner, Auburn Hills, Mich., is projecting sales growth of 5% to 7%, or 9% to 11% excluding the impact of currency exchange, for this year.
Another parts maker,
American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings
, said it expects to earn $56 million, or $1.10 a share, for the year ended Dec. 31. The results include a charge of around $9 million related to voluntary separation payments accepted by about 160 hourly workers in the fourth quarter.
The Detroit-based company said it will meet its free cash flow expectations for the year. For 2006, American Axle is targeting earnings of $1.20 to $1.30 a share, an estimate that also reflects items. The company didn't provide the per-share impact of the expected items for either year. American Axle's shares were losing $1.03, or 5.2%, to $18.82.
Separately, American Axle, a builder of driveline and chassis systems, said it will construct a manufacturing facility in Changshu, China, near Shanghai, and indicated that its new business backlog through 2012 will amount to about $1.4 billion in future annual sales.
said it's looking for 2006 sales of $22 billion and $23.3 billion, based on projected full-year light vehicle production volume of around 15.8 million units in North America and roughly the same number in Europe.
However, analysts were hoping to see sales of about $24.2 billion. Magna's shares were lower by $4.76, or 6.3%, to $70.40.
The Ontario-based company, which makes a variety of systems and parts, expects average dollar content per vehicle to be between $750 and $780 in North America and $300 and $325 in Europe.
European complete vehicle assembly sales should be $3.3 billion to $3.6 billion this year, Magna said. The company added that this year's operating margin, excluding items, will likely be about 5%. Additionally, Magna is predicting its profit before items will grow in 2006 compared with 2005, but the company didn't offer a specific outlook.
Magna did lower its estimate for 2007 North American average dollar content per vehicle to between $805 and $840 and its expected European content per vehicle to a range of $315 to $355. A year ago, the company had forecast the value of North American content at $835 to $880 and European content at $332 to $372 for 2007.
reported Wednesday that
is planning to close three plants and sell six others.
Visteon, whose products include climate-control and lighting systems, transferred more than 20 North American plants back to former parent
last year as part of its bid to stay out of Chapter 11. Shares of Visteon, which is based in Van Buren Township, Mich., slid 85 cents, or 12.7%, to $5.82.
The weakness also took in
, which was down 71 cents, or 2.8%, to $25 a day after saying it would record a fourth-quarter writedown of $372 million on its stuggling automotive interiors business.
( DPHIQ), the former
unit that filed for bankruptcy last year and now trades on the pink sheets, shed 3 cents to 35 cents.
( DCN) was giving back 65 cents, or 8.3%, to $7.14.