TRW 1Q profit falls, but not as much as expected

TRW Automotive posts 21 pct drop in 1st-qtr profit, but easily tops Wall Street expectations

Associated Press

LIVONIA, Mich. (AP) -- TRW Automotive saw net income tumble 21 percent during the first quarter as hefty restructuring charges compounded flat sales, but the auto parts maker easily topped Wall Street expectations and shares rose in premarket trading.

The company earned $162 million, or $1.29 per share, down from $206 million, or $1.59 per share, in the same quarter of 2012.

Excluding restructuring charges and other one-time items, the company posted an adjusted profit of $1.51 per share for the recent quarter, outpacing projections for per-share earnings of $1.40 from analysts that follow the company.

TRW attributed thinner profits to a greater percentage of businesses that were less profitable, and rising costs that the company believes will boost growth in the future.

Revenue was flat at $4.21 billion, which was still better than on $4.12 billion Wall Street was looking for.

Like major automakers General Motors and Ford, TRW is struggling in Europe, where unemployment continues to hit record highs. The company expects a modest recovery there, but not until the second half of the year.

European market conditions remained tough during the quarter, with both vehicle demand and production.

At the same time, vehicle production volumes should continue to increase in China and other international markets, TRW said.

TRW Automotive Holdings Corp., based in Livonia, Mich., projected second-quarter sales of about $4.3 billion and 2013 sales of $16.6 billion to $16.9 billion, ahead of Wall Street predictions of $4.19 billion for the quarter and $16.66 billion for the year.

Shares rose more than 2 percent, or $1.41, to $60.30 in premarket trading.

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