US vehicle component makers have been predicting improved profits at the Morgan Stanley Global Automotive Conference in New York City this week.

Visteon Corporation executives said yesterday that they expected first quarter earnings to be about break-even - in line with analysts' expectations.

They estimated full-year net income of break-even to $US50 million, based on current volume estimates.  Both estimates exclude restructuring charges previously estimated at about $150 million pre-tax.

Meanwhile, BorgWarner said it expected a stronger than anticipated first quarter and was raising its earnings guidance to $1.10 to $1.15 per share, and full year earnings per share in the $4.90 to $5.10 range, both before the cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle for goodwill.

"Stronger and more stable production schedules in North America, along with continued strength in our European business, are getting BorgWarner off to a stronger than expected start in 2002," said chairman and CEO John F. Fiedler.

"If these trends continue, we can expect improved results for the entire year, and have raised our guidance as a result."

Fiedler said that the company's guidance was based on increased assumptions of North American light vehicle production for the year at approximately 15.6 million cars and trucks, a three percent decline in Europe and a flat Asian market.

Chassis specialist Dana Corporation estimated that its first quarter earnings, excluding one-time items, would be 15 to 17 cents per share, higher than it had previously estimated and the First Call estimate of 10 cents.

And interior components and trim maker Dura said it expected first quarter earnings of 58 to 62 cents per share, 38 percent more than the Wall Street consensus of 42 cents per share.

Dana estimated full-year earnings of $2.30 to $2.40 per share, compared to its previous estimate of $2.19.