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November 15, 2005

USA: ArvinMeritor reduces Q4 loss

ArvinMeritor reportedly said on Tuesday its loss shrank in the fiscal fourth quarter as the company moved ahead with a plan to sell a unit that makes consumer replacement parts, but forecast first-quarter results beneath Wall Street estimates.

ArvinMeritor reportedly said on Tuesday its loss shrank in the fiscal fourth quarter as the company moved ahead with a plan to sell a unit that makes consumer replacement parts, but forecast first-quarter results beneath Wall Street estimates.

According to The Associated Press (AP), ArvinMeritor added that it now plans to sell the replacement parts business in parts, rather than as one unit. The company said this has not changed its estimate for proceeds from the sale.

For the three months ended September 30, ArvinMeritor posted a loss of US$19m, or 27 cents a share, compared with a year-ago loss of $153m, or $2.23 per share, AP said.

Earnings from continuing operations declined to $12m, or 17 cents per share, from $30m, or 44 cents per share in the last fourth quarter, the report added.

Excluding items such as restructuring charges and debt costs, the company reportedly said this drop would have been far less steep, with latest-quarter profit coming in at $29m, or 41 cents per share.

Revenue increased 6% to $2.13bn from $2.01bn, with favourable exchange rates accounting for $40m of the growth. The company said sales were driven by a commercial axle joint venture with the Volvo group in Europe, AP noted.

For the fiscal year, ArvinMeritor posted a profit of $12m, or 17 cents per share, on sales of $8.9bn. Earnings from continuing operations were $110m, or $1.57 per share, excluding restructuring charges. The company had said earnings would hit the high end of a range from $1.40 to $1.60 per share, The Associated Press said.

For the first quarter of fiscal 2006, ArvinMeritor said it expects earnings from continuing operations of 13 cents to 17 cents a share, excluding items. For the year, adjusted profit from continuing operations will range from $1.50 to $1.70 per share, the company said, according to the report.

The Associated Press said analysts are looking for first-quarter earnings of 22 cents per share and fiscal 2006 profit of $1.92 per share.

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