Visteon Posts Profit on Facility Sales

Auto parts maker Visteon Corp. (VC) Friday posted a quarterly net profit after recognizing a $1.83 billion gain on the sale of plants and other facilities to former parent Ford Motor Co. (F).

Visteon reported net income of $1.34 billion, or $10.25 per share, for the fourth quarter, compared with a net loss of $138 million, or a $1.10 per share, a year earlier.

Visteon also took a $335 million noncash charge in the quarter related to a restructuring plan announced in January.

Ford production cuts in North America and rising materials costs hurt 2005 results for Visteon, which Ford spun off in 2000, and the three-year restructuring plan could cost $800 million.

Fourth-quarter sales fell to $2.87 billion from $4.68 billion a year earlier, mainly due to the sale of facilities to Ford. Analysts' average sales forecast was $2.86 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

The facility sales to Ford were expected to cut Visteon's annual revenue by about 40 percent while reducing the company's reliance on sales to its former parent.

Visteon said 2006 earnings are expected to range from $45 million to $75 million before net interest expense and income tax provisions, excluding net unreimbursed restructuring expenses and write-downs of asset values.

The company said it expects 2006 sales of $11.2 billion, with 58 percent from non-Ford customers, and free cash flow of about $50 million. Analysts expect sales of $11.77 billion.

Visteon shares closed at $4.84 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. Through Thursday, the shares had fallen nearly 23 percent this year, compared with a 9.4 percent decline in the Dow Jones U.S. auto parts makers index.