UPDATE: Autoliv Posts 4Q Net Loss; 1Q Sales Seen Tumbling
Autoliv Inc. (ALV) Thursday swung to a net loss in the fourth
quarter as automakers slashed production and it said it sees sales
falling by almost half in the current quarter.
The Swedish-American company, the world's largest maker of seat
belts and airbags, said it sees no signs of relief from the
macro-economic impact. It expects net sales to drop 45% in the
first quarter of 2009, including a 40% decline in organic
It also expects a negative operating margin of 5% to 7%,
excluding restructuring costs.
In Europe, where Autoliv generates more than half of its
revenue, light-vehicle production in the fourth quarter ended Dec.
31 is estimated to have fallen almost 30%, the company said. In
North America, where it derives almost a quarter of its revenue,
light-vehicle production fell 26%.
Net loss in the three-month period ended Dec. 31 was $38.4
million, down from a net profit of $94 million a year earlier.
Eleven analysts polled by Dow Jones and FactSet on average had
forecast a net loss of $17 million.
Sales fell 33% to $1.19 billion from $1.78 billion a year ago,
below analysts' forecast of $1.3 billion. The company also suffered
an operating loss of $27.3 million, down from an operating profit
of $164.1 million. Analysts had forecast an operating profit of
"It's clearly not good but not unexpected, given the auto
sector's woes," said Nordea analyst Johan Trocme. "The more
worrying thing is the outlook for (the first quarter), with sales
decline of more than 45% expected, and only the possibility of
positive operating income for the full year.
"It's definitely ugly out there," Trocme added.
Autoliv had warned in December that earnings would be lower and
said it had cut 5,900 jobs, or 14% of its workforce, in a
cost-cutting program initiated in July. The measures aim to save
$120 million in 2010 at a cost of $75 million. It also cut its
quarterly dividend almost in half to $0.21.
At 1203 GMT, Autoliv's shares traded down 5 Swedish kronor, or
3.2%, at SEK153, outperforming the broader Stockholm market, which
was down 2.7%. The shares have lost about half their value in the
past 12 months.
Company Web site: www.autoliv.com
-By Ola Kinnander, Dow Jones Newswires; +46-8-5451-3097; email@example.com
(Ian Edmondson contributed to this article.)
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