Magna cuts 2019 outlook after GM strike in U.S. cuts volume

Europe

Magna International has lowered its 2019 financial outlook to reflect the estimated impact of the UAW strike at General Motors in the United States.

The strike lasted 40 days and stretched from the latter part of the third quarter and into the fourth.  

Magna, which supplies body exteriors and structures and power technologies, said Friday that it experienced reduced third-quarter sales as a result of the UAW’s job action. 

At its Innovation Day in Detroit last month, Magna said GM accounted for 15 percent of its global sales by customers in 2018.  

The supplier said its third-quarter sales fell 3 percent to $9.32 billion, down from $9.62 billion in the same period last year.  

Magna experienced a net loss of $233 million, compared with a gain of $554 million in the same period last year. 

Magna leaders estimate a total revenue impact of $500 million for 2019, with an impact of approximately $140 to $150 million in the third quarter, and the balance in fourth quarter. 

“All things considered, our third-quarter earnings were relatively in line with our expectations,” CFO Vince Galifi said in a statement. “However, we have made some adjustments to our outlook, largely to reflect estimated lost volume related to the GM strike and higher launch costs.” 

Magna says it now expects total sales this year of between $38.7 billion and $39.8 billion, a reduction of $1.3 billion on the top end of the range. The cut also reflects the impact of higher launch costs.  

The supplier also cut its full-year net-income outlook to between $1.8 billion and $1.9 billion from a previous range of $1.9 billion to $2.1 billion. 

“The GM strike contributed to margin declines for [body exteriors and structures], power and vision and seating,” Galifi said in a call with investors Friday.  

Sales in Magna’s body exteriors and structures segment fell 5 percent to $4 billion, down from $4.2 billion in the same period last year, while sales in the power and vision segment fell 9 percent to $2.7 billion, down from $2.9 billion in the same period last year. 

Both fell as a result of lower global light-vehicle production, the end of production of certain programs in and the strike, Galifi said. 

Magna’s seating business rose 4 percent to $1.3 billion, up from $1.2 billion in the same period last year, primarily as a result of new program launches. 

Magna CEO Donald Walker said on the call that the impact of the strike will continue throughout the remainder of the year. 

“The GM strike, which continued into October, will also impact our fourth quarter results,” Walker said. 

Shares of Magna were up less than 1 percent to $56.67 in Friday morning trading. 

The GM strike has impacted several other major suppliers, including TennecoAptivLear Corp.NemakAdient and Faurecia

Walker said despite the setbacks, he expects Magna to grow in its wholly-owned Getrag acquisition operations.  

The supplier also recently announced that BMW Group awarded it the largest production order for transmission technologies, for dual-clutch transmissions including hybrid variants, under a multi-year contract.   

Magna International, of Ontario, Canada, ranked No. 3 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers, with worldwide sales to automakers of $40.83 billion in 2018. 

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