Visteon Corp., the second-biggest U.S. auto-parts maker, posted a fourth-quarter profit of $1.34 billion because of a gain from transferring plants and offices back to former parent Ford Motor Co.
Net income was $10.25 a share, compared with a net loss of $138 million, or $1.10, a year earlier, Visteon said in a statement today. The Ford transaction added $1.8 billion. The results also included $335 million to write down the value of some U.S. and U.K. production lines. Sales fell 39 percent to $2.87 billion from $4.68 billion, reflecting the plant transfers.
The fourth-quarter results left Visteon with a loss of $270 million in 2005, its fifth-straight year without a profit since being spun off from Ford in 2000. Visteon's sales to Ford suffered as the automaker trimmed North American auto production last year by 5.7 percent as its U.S. auto sales fell.
``They can't restructure fast enough to reflect what's happening with their key customers,'' said Argus Research analyst Kevin Tynan in New York, who has a ``sell'' rating on Visteon.
Visteon, of Van Buren, Michigan, said more than a half of its sales came from outside Ford during the fourth quarter, up from 33 percent in the fourth quarter of 2004. Visteon transferred 23 North American facilities to Ford on Oct. 1 to cut costs.
The operations included plants employing 18,000 employees represented by the United Auto Workers, who are paid about twice what parts-plant workers receive at competitors. Ford has said it intends to sell most of those factories.
Visteon is trying to make its North American operations profitable while relying more heavily on business overseas. The company said on Jan. 11 that it expects $800 million in costs under a restructuring plan that includes closing at least three plants this year. Visteon in a U.S. regulatory filing today revised the figure to $650 million.
Visteon intends to close factories in Puerto Rico and Mexico this quarter and a Buffalo, New York, plant in the third quarter. The company said in January it's also trying to sell six ``non-strategic operations'' and working to improve 12 ``underperforming plants,'' which it didn't identify.