NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- American Axle ( AXL) has been trading in the red, as investors took profits after the company swung to a profit and announced in-line first-quarter earnings.

American Axle has fallen 2.7% to $11.42 about 20 minutes into Friday's regular trading session.

American Axle said it posted net income of $16.3 million, or 22 cents a share, during the first quarter versus a net loss of $32.7 million or 59 cents a share the previous year, reflecting the favorable impact of improving global industry conditions and its ongoing effort "to sustain reductions in AAM's fixed cost structure and operating breakeven level." The Wall Street consensus estimate for the quarter was 22 cents a share.

Net sales increased about 30% year-over-year to $521.9 million, with non-GM sales up about 30%, and customer production volumes for the North American light truck and SUV programs that AAM currently supports for GM and Chrysler up about 25%. Despite these improvements, revenue still fell below the average analyst estimate of $535.56 million.

American Axle increased its research and development spending for the first quarter to about $19.1 million from $18.7 million the year before.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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