Oct 29 (Reuters) - TRW Automotive Holdings Corp, maker of passive vehicle safety systems, beat analysts' third-quarter profit expectations and forecast that next year's sales will rise only slightly from 2013 levels.
TRW, based in suburban Detroit, said on Tuesday that quarterly earnings rose to $197 million, or $1.52 per diluted share, from $157 million, or $1.25 per diluted share, a year ago.
Excluding one-time items, net earnings were $187 million, or $1.52 per diluted share, compared with $157 million, or $1.24 per diluted share.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S expected earnings of $1.48 per share, excluding items.
Revenue of $4.21 billion narrowly topped analyst expectations of $4.16 billion, and rose from $3.965 billion a year earlier.
TRW's forecast of 2014 revenue of $17.1 billion was near the analysts' estimate of $17.07 billion for 2013 as polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. In 2012, TRW had sales of $16.4 billion.
TRW's board authorized $1 billion in company stock buybacks, bringing the total plan to $2 billion. Of that, $1.47 billion remains and will be spent over the next three years, the company said.
The remaining shares expected to be repurchased in the next three years represents about 16 percent of TRW's current market capitalization value.
In Tuesday morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange, TRW shares were trading at $76.57, down 2.2 percent.