UPDATE: Autoliv 2Q Net Loss Beats Forecast; Shares Surge
Autoliv Inc. (ALV), the world's largest maker of seat belts and
airbags, Tuesday reported a better-than-expected quarterly net loss
on forecast-beating sales and cost cuts.
Investors welcomed the news. At 1137 GMT, Autoliv's shares
traded up 24 Swedish kronor ($3.13), or 10%, at SEK262.50,
outperforming the broader Stockholm market, which traded up
Autoliv Chief Executive Jan Carlson told Dow Jones Newswires
that the restructuring program that Autoliv began last year, which
included laying off more than 10,000 workers, almost a quarter of
the workforce, "generated a bigger effect this quarter than we had
He also said that sales outperformed the company's own forecast
from April due to "a better model mix" in the U.S., robust car
sales in China, and government incentives in Europe for consumers
to scrap older cars and buy new ones.
Excluding restructuring charges of $32 million related to
layoffs and other initiatives, the Swedish-American company
returned to an operating profit after two quarters in the red.
Autoliv said it expects consolidated sales, including negative
currency effects, to fall between 20% and 25% in the third quarter,
which began July 1, due to global car production remaining at
comparatively low levels. Despite this, it aims to make another
operating profit in the third quarter, excluding restructuring
costs, due to the cost cutting.
Net loss in the three-month period ended June 30 was $20.7
million, compared to net profit of $90.4 million in the same period
a year earlier. Eleven analysts polled by Dow Jones and FactSet on
average had forecast a net loss of $56 million.
Sales fell 38% to $1.19 billion from $1.91 billion a year ago,
beating analysts' forecasts of $1.16 billion.
The operating loss, excluding one-off items, was $12 million,
compared to a $148 million operating profit a year ago. Analysts
had forecast an operating loss of $69 million.
Evli Bank analyst Michael Andersson said the result was "much
better than expected."
"Autoliv has been pretty bullish ... saying (in recent months
that its cost-cutting program) is ahead of plan, but that it was
going this well was surprising," he added.
Autoliv's fortunes are closely connected to global car
production. Carlson noted that 55 million cars were produced
globally in the second quarter, up from 46 million in the first
quarter. He estimated that another 55 million cars will be produced
in the third quarter, followed by 58 million units in the fourth
Carlson said Autoliv aimed to emerge from the crisis in good
shape. "We're viewing ourselves, at this point, as one of the clear
winners" among auto-related companies, he said. "So far we've done
most things right."
Evli's Andersson agreed. "Auto companies are going under to the
left and right, but Autoliv has strengthened its position," he
Company Web site: www.autoliv.com
-By Ola Kinnander, Dow Jones Newswires; +46-8-5451-3097;