BorgWarner fourth quarter results were hit by a $703.6m, or $440.6m after tax ($2.07 a share), charge related to indemnity and defence costs for pending and future asbestos-related claims but full-year results, albeit down, were written in black ink.
“This amount is based on an undiscounted estimate of indemnity and defence costs that may be incurred at one of the company’s subsidiaries on account of pending and potential future asbestos-related claims that may be asserted for the next 50 years (through 2067),” the supplier said in a statement.
Consequently, though sales rose 6.4% to US$2,259m, BW booked a net loss of $1.39 per share and an operating loss of $458m versus $125m in Q4 2015.
Full year sales rose 13.1% to $9,071m and net earnings were $119m ($610m a year earlier) or $0.55 per share and operating income $226m.
The supplier reaffirmed 2017 full year guidance, expecting sales of $8.81bn – $9.04bn, growth of 3.5% to 6.0%. Foreign currencies are expected to lower sales by $320m, due to the depreciation of the euro, yuan and pound. The sale of the Remy light vehicle aftermarket business will additionally lower sales by $235m or so. Net earnings are expected to be within a range of $3.35 to $3.45 per share and operating margin is expected to improve by 40 to 50 basis points.
First quarter 2017 guidance suggests sales growth of 2.5% to 6.5% despite a currency hit of $60m, or -2.7% and Remy sale revenue drop of $70m. Net earnings are expected to be $0.81 to $0.85 per share.
Engine segment sales were $1,387m in fourth quarter 2016 compared with $1,397m in fourth quarter 2015. Adjusted EBITwas $248m.
Drivetrain sales were $883m in 2016 compared with $735m in 2015. Adjusted EBIT was $91m.
The company paid asbestos indemnity and related defence costs totalling $45.3m and $54.7m in 2016 and 2015.