DaimlerChrysler ( DCX) posted a big loss for the first quarter, though it was narrower than analysts expected.

The German automaker, which has been struggling with its U.S. Chrysler unit, recorded a loss of 33 cents a share excluding certain items. Analysts had expected it would lose 47 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

The company noted that it's in the midst of a turnaround program, which includes job cuts. For the year, it expects operating profit adjust for one-time items to be $1.1 billion to $1.5 billion. It said gains from actions likes the sale of Adtranz will offset the one-time charges at Chrysler and Mitsubishi Motors. "DaimlerChrysler is confident that it can make a sustained improvement in earnings with the measures being taken, and that as early as 2003, earnings will return to 1999 levels," the company said.