Lear 3Q profit up as automakers boost production

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. -- Third-quarter net income at Lear jumped 21 percent as global vehicle production picked up.

The auto supplier earned $121.4 million, or $1.23 per share, up from $100.7 million, or 95 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Excluding one-time items, the company posted an adjusted profit of $1.29 per share for the recent quarter.

Revenue increased 2.3 percent to $3.54 billion from $3.46 billion.

The results beat Wall Street predictions. Analysts expected a profit of $1.19 per share on $3.47 billion in revenue, according to a FactSet poll.

Global vehicle production rose 2 percent during the quarter, Lear said, with automakers building more vehicles in every major global market, save for Europe.

Ford has closed two giant European auto plants in as many days with the debt crisis quashing demand for cars.

Sales at the Lear's seating business fell 1 percent to $2.7 billion as vehicle production in Europe slides, but also because of the strong U.S. dollar.

But sales of electrical power management systems jumped 14 percent to $877 million, as the company added new business.

Lear Corp., based in Southfield, Mich., said it now expects its 2012 adjusted net income to total between $520 million to $560 million, up from its previous prediction of $510 million to $540 million, mainly as a result of lower tax expense. Analysts expect $531.6 million.