Lear profit beats on strong automobile demand in China

May 7, 2021 6:38 AM EDT

FILE PHOTO: An employee of U.S. auto part maker Lear Corp., wearing a protective face mask, walks past work cubicles furnished with tall dividers as part of the new security measures at the plant, before resuming operations during the coronavirus disease

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(Reuters) -U.S. auto parts maker Lear on Friday reported a better-than-expected first-quarter profit and raised its full-year outlook, helped by robust demand in key markets such as China, which is leading the sector's recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

Lear's results come a day after rival Magna International Inc also beat estimates for quarterly results, driven by strong China demand.

Even as the health crisis has boosted demand for personal transport, a severe chip shortage has led car companies to cut production, capping sales growth at auto parts makers.

Lear said it now expects full-year sales between $20.35 billion and $21.15 billion, up from its prior forecast of $19.8 billion to $20.8 billion.

Lear, which counts General Motors Co and Ford among its top customers, makes automotive seating and electrical distribution systems that manage electrical power within a vehicle.

The company also raised its 2021 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization forecast to a range of $1.70 billion to $1.87 billion, from prior range of $1.69 billion to $1.86 billion.

On an adjusted basis, Lear earned $3.73 per share in the quarter ended April 3, beating analysts' average estimate of $2.95 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net sales rose 20% to $5.4 billion, topping the Wall Street estimate of $4.89 billion.

(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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