American Axle ( AXL) second-quarter earnings rose 7.9% from the year-ago period. The company earned $20.4 million, or 40 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $18.9 million, or 37 cents a share, a year ago. Second-quarter results include $2.4 million, or 3 cents a share, related to a debt writedown, and $2.6 million, or 5 cents a share, related to a unfavorable tax adjustment. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of $17.3 million, or 36 cents a share. Second-quarter revenue rose marginally 0.8% from a year ago to $874.6 million as against analysts' expectation of $883.4 million. The company expects to earn $1 a share to $1.10 a share in the full year. Analysts expect full year earnings of 86 cents a share. "In the second quarter of 2006, AAM benefited from strong demand for GM's full-size utility vehicles and the increase in our content appearing on these outstanding new vehicles. We look forward to supporting the launch of GM's new full-size pick-ups later this year," the company said. Second-quarter gross profit rose 5.3% from a year ago to $89.9 million and gross margin increased 44 basis points to 10.3%. Operating income for the quarter rose 11.3% to $40.5 million and operating margin increased 44 basis points to 4.6%. The company said that its second-quarter content per vehicle increased 3% from a year ago to $1,216. However, second-quarter production declined 2%. Shares fell 56 cents to $15.88.