BorgWarner has reported net earnings heavily down in the fourth quarter of 2001, but the performance was generally held by analysts to be a little better than expected.

In a statement the company said that the full year results were ‘bolstered by the company’s broad customer base, geographic growth and key technologies for more efficient engines and transmissions, which helped offset industry instability and production declines’.

For the 2001 fourth quarter, total BorgWarner sales were down slightly at $583 million compared with $596 million in the 2000 fourth quarter.

Net income in the quarter was $21.2 million, or $0.80 per share, compared with 2000 earnings of $26.8 million, or $1.02 per share, before restructuring and other non-recurring charges in each year. The 2001 charge was $19.0 million or $0.72 per share, resulting in net income for the quarter of $2.2 million or $0.08 per share. The charge in 2000, recognized in the fourth quarter, totalled $19.1 million or $0.72 per share, resulting in net income for the quarter of $7.7 million or $0.30 per share.

Sales for 2001 totaled $2.35 billion compared with $2.65 billion in 2000.

Full-year 2001 net income was $85.4 million, or $3.23 per share before the charge, compared with $132.7 million, or $5.01 per share before charges in 2000. The 2001 charge was taken to adjust the carrying values of certain assets and liabilities, principally related to business acquisitions and divestitures over the past three years. As a result, full-year net income was $66.4 million or $2.51 per share compared with $94.0 million, or $3.54 per share, in 2000. The company recorded a total of $38.7 million or $1.47 per share in 2000 as restructuring and other non-recurring charges.

The company reported that strong demand for its transmission and turbocharger products in Europe and Asia helped to compensate for weakness in North American sales.

However, cooling systems sales were heavily affected by deteriorating North American market conditions since 80% of its business is with North American sport-utility, and light and commercial truck makers.

TorqTransfer Systems’ sales were hurt by ‘erratic customer production scheduling in the first part of the year and the continued effects of the Ford/Firestone tire issue’.

John F. Fiedler, Chairman and CEO, said in a statement: “We expect 2002 earnings per share in a range of $4.30 to $4.50, on an expected sales increase of 5%. While we anticipate that demand in the first half of the year will continue to be weak, we expect to benefit from new business launches in the later part of 2002 and hope to see a general strengthening in the US economy.”