UPDATE 2-Delphi reports higher profit, but outlook disappoints

By Ben Klayman DETROIT, July 31 (Reuters) - Delphi Automotive Plc on Wednesday posted a stronger-than-expected second-quarter profit, but the auto parts supplier offered a weaker-than-anticipated forecast for the current quarter. Analysts said investors were disappointed that the outperformance in the second quarter was not fully incorporated in the company's improved full-year forecast. "You had a very good quarter, very strong margins, in-line revenue, but the upside in the quarter didn't seem to flow into the rest of the year's outlook as well as people thought it needed to," said Citi analyst Itay Michaeli, who has a "buy" rating on the stock. Shares in Delphi, which was spun off from General Motors Co in 1999 and emerged from bankruptcy in 2009, were off 2.2 percent on Wednesday. In the past year, the stock has almost doubled. "This is a very universally liked stock and with the valuation where it is you don't leave much room for disappointment," said Guggenheim Securities analyst Matthew Stover, who has a "neutral" rating on the stock. Delphi executives said Europe remains challenging, and vehicle build schedules in that region and North America were higher than expected in the second quarter. "When you look at production schedules in the back half, they've been reduced by roughly an equal amount," Chief Financial Officer Kevin Clark said in a telephone interview. "As a result, you effectively had retiming of production and effectively retiming of earnings." Delphi executives said Europe seems to have stabilized, but they still expects production in that region to decline 3.5 percent this year. In the prior quarter, they had forecast a 4.5 percent decline for the year. The company's net income in the second quarter rose 11 percent to $367 million, or $1.17 a share, from $330 million, or $1.01 a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Excluding one-time items, Delphi earned $1.24 a share, 10 cents more than analysts expected, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue rose 6 percent to $4.24 billion, in line with Wall Street expectations, mostly due to the acquisition of the motorized vehicles division from FCI Group last fall. Adjusting for currency exchange, commodity movements and acquisitions, revenue rose 1 percent. Adjusted revenue grew 9 percent in Asia, 4 percent in North America and 13 percent in South America, while declining 7 percent in Europe. Sales rose 19 percent in the company's electrical business and 3 percent in electronics and safety unit, but fell 7 percent each in the powertrain and thermal systems businesses. In May, Delphi reported a 20-percent drop in its first-quarter profit on lower sales in Europe and North America, and increased its cost cutting. For the third quarter, Delphi said it expects adjusted earnings of 86 to 94 cents a share and revenue in the range of $3.95 billion to $4.05 billion. Analysts were expecting a profit of $1.05 a share on revenue of $4.05 billion. For the year, it said it now expects earnings in the range of $4.22 to $4.45 a share, up from its previous forecast of $4.15 to $4.41. It expects revenue in the range of $16.3 billion to $16.5 billion, compared with its previous forecast of $16.2 billion to $16.6 billion. Analysts were expecting a full-year profit of $4.37 a share on revenue of $16.39 billion.


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