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TRW Automotive 4Q Earnings Rise

Maker of brake, steering and safety systems reported better-than-expected earnings, taking advantage of the rebound in global auto production.

LIVONIA, Mich. (AP) -- TRW Automotive Holdings Corp., which makes brake, steering and safety systems, reported better-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter Thursday, taking advantage of the rebound in global auto production as well as reduced costs.

The Livonia, Mich., company said its net income jumped 45 percent to 204 million, or $1.56 per share, compared with 141 million, or $1.18 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2009. Revenue rose 9.7 percent to $3.71 billion.

Adjusted for pension and net tax gains, debt retirement and restructuring charges, TRW made $1.72 per share, beating Wall Street's expectations. Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of $1.24 per share on revenue of $3.46 billion.

For the full year, the company made $834 million, or $6.49 per share, compared with $55 million, or 51 cents per share, in 2009. Full-year revenue rose 24 percent to $14.4 billion.

The full-year results were the best since TRW Automotive became an independent company in 2003, CEO and Chairman John Plant said in a statement.

"TRW ended the year with a significantly improved capital structure including a record low net debt level," he said.

TRW said it expects North American auto production to rise 7 percent this year to 12.7 million vehicles from 2010. European production is expected to be flat at 18.7 million units. Full-year revenue is expected to range from $14.9 billion to $15.3 billion, with first-quarter sales of $3.9 billion. Analysts were expecting full-year revenue of $15.37 billion.

Shares of TRW rose 36 cents to $60.00 in early trading Thursday.

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