Lear's ( LEA) second-quarter loss narrowed from a year ago. The auto-parts maker lost $6.4 million, or 10 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of $44.4 million, or 66 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding items, Lear earned 24 cents a share in the latest quarter. Analysts were forecasting earnings of 25 cents a share in the most recent quarter. Sales rose to $4.8 billion from $4.4 billion a year ago. Analysts expected $4.53 billion. "Net sales were up from the prior year, primarily reflecting the addition of new business globally, offset in part by lower production on several Lear platforms in North America and Europe," the company said. "Operating performance improved from the year-earlier results primarily due to the increase in net sales as well as benefits from cost and operating efficiencies in our core businesses. These improvements were offset in part by higher raw material costs." "The Lear team remains focused on improving quality and ensuring flawless launch execution while we aggressively implement cost improvement and operating efficiency initiatives," Lear said. "Although there are many challenges facing our industry, we are taking aggressive actions to address these issues and further improve our operating results. We will continue to be product-line focused; competitive on a global basis; and dedicated to working collaboratively with our customers." For all of 2006, Lear pegged sales at $18 billion, compared with the $17.7 billion Thomson First Call consensus. It reiterated guidance for pretax core operating earnings of $400 million to $440 million and said free cash flow should be $50 million to $100 million, reversing an outflow in 2005.