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Published: Friday, 2/21/2014 - Updated: 8 months ago

Obama drive could help Dana

CEO says fuel-efficiency push for heavy trucks is right up its alley

BY TYREL LINKHORN
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
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Dana Holding Corp. believes it can grow annual sales to $8 billion by 2016, thanks in part to a widening push for better fuel efficiency in commercial vehicles.

“That’s where a lot of our new business wins are coming from,” Chief Executive Officer Roger Wood said Thursday. “We believe we are able to lead the industry in that kind of an initiative.”

Getting to $8 billion in global sales would represent a growth of nearly 18 percent from the $6.8 billion the Maumee-based auto parts supplier reported in 2013.

Dana officials say it’s entirely possible. The company already is banking on $560 million in awarded business that hasn’t yet come online, and officials said they view current and proposed fuel efficiency regulations as having a positive effect on their business.

“We see [regulations] tightening, and we also see a continued greater and greater interest on our customers’ level and their customers’ level to make sure they have the technologies to meet them.”

President Obama on Tuesday announced he would push for tougher fuel standards for heavy-duty commercial trucks. Already in place are aggressive standards for light vehicles that require automakers' fleets to have average fuel economy of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016.

Mr. Wood said Dana has put an emphasis on developing technologies that boost efficiency in recent years.

“That’s what’s allowing us to start to break away from the market,” he said.

Dana announced its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results Thursday. The company beat analysts' expectations in the fourth quarter, and improved its full-year profit margin for the fifth consecutive year.

For the fourth quarter, Dana reported sales of $1.62 billion, up $15 million from the prior year. The company’s net income for the quarter fell to $42 million from $88 million in 2012. However, the 2012 results were helped by a one-time tax benefit of $54 million.

Dana's fourth-quarter earnings translated to 23 cents per share, down from 41 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The company’s adjusted earnings were 49 cents per share. Analysts had estimated 44 cents per share.

For the full year, Dana’s sales fell $455 million, or about 6 percent from 2012. Officials said Dana was stung by soft demand in the North American heavy truck market and the global off-highway market. Discontinued products and unfavorable currency fluctuations also hurt total revenues.

The company reported a profit of $244 million for the year, down from $300 million in 2012. After factoring out preferred stock dividend payments and costs related to the redemption of preferred stock, Dana reported a loss of 9 cents per share in 2013, versus a profit of $1.40 per share in 2012.

On an adjusted basis, Dana said earnings were $1.77 per share, versus $1.75 per share in 2012.

Looking ahead to the rest of 2014, Dana expects sales to reach $6.8 to $6.9 billion, and expects to post adjusted earnings of $1.82 to $1.86 per share. “Overall we see 2014 markets shaping up to be stable and providing some incremental growth for us, some of that mitigated by continued currency headwinds,” Mr. Wood said.

Shares of the company's stock rose $1.19, or a little over 1 percent, on Thursday to close at $21.32.

Contact Tyrel Linkhorn at tlinkhorn@theblade.com or 419-724-6134 or on Twitter @BladeAutoWriter.



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