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Charges Put Dana Deep in the Red

The auto parts maker records a $1.3 billion loss for its third quarter.
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recorded a $1.3 billion loss for its third quarter, weighed down by hefty charges amid a weakening auto industry.

The Toledo, Ohio, auto parts maker's loss for the September quarter equaled $8.50 a share, reversing a year-earlier profit of $42 million, or 28 cents a share. The quarter included two charges that accounted for 94% of the loss, Dana said. The first, totaling $918 million, related to a deferred tax asset valuation allowance. The second was a $275 million impairment charge on the Dana's engine hard parts, fluid and pump products businesses, which the company is planning to sell.

Excluding items, Dana's loss totaled $63 million, or 42 cents a share. The results were worse than Thomson First Call's average analyst estimate for a loss of 2 cents a share.

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The company's sales rose to $2.4 billion from $2.11 billion a year earlier. Analysts projected sales of $2.22 billion.

"Obviously, our results are far from acceptable, particularly the operating loss," said Dana Chairman and CEO Michael Burns in a statement. "Many of the challenges we are facing on the automotive side, including higher material costs and lower production levels, are industrywide issues. However, the reduced income in our Heavy Vehicle unit reflects not only material cost increases but also internal operating inefficiencies, which we are moving aggressively to address."

The company has made moves to lower costs, including layoffs and the divestitures, but Burns said Dana is moving beyond just cutting expenses.

"We must also continue to grow our revenue base," he said. "And to this end, we continue to add to our backlog of profitable new business."

Dana had delayed releasing its third-quarter results in October after discovering accounting problems, sending the stock to a 52-week low of $5.50 at the time. The shares recently changed hands at $6.08, down 72 cents, or 11%.