American Axle posts strong Q1, announces key JV

Longtime drivetrain supplier American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. on Friday reported across-the-board gains in the first quarter.

American Axle, of Detroit, joined several suppliers in reporting first-quarter financial results impacted by the global semiconductor chip shortage that is plaguing the industry.

American Axle’s first-quarter net income was $38.6 million, up considerably from a net loss of $501.3 million in the year-earlier period.

The company said revenue improved 6.1 percent to $1.43 billion in the quarter. American Axle said sales took a $64 million hit because of the chip shortage.

Adjusted earnings before interest expense, income taxes, depreciation and amortization stood at $262.9 million, a growth of 23 percent from the year-earlier period.

The company also reported more net cash in the first quarter — $179.1 million compared to $139.4 million in the first quarter of 2020. Adjusted free cash flow was $174.1 million, compared with $83.3 million for the year-earlier period.

The supplier said its financial targets for the full year remain unchanged and that it currently anticipates North American light-vehicle production of 15 million to 15.5 million units.

Shares in American Axle rose 6.7 percent to $10.42 in afternoon trading on Friday.

“Although the industry is facing continuity of supply issues, we continue to navigate through these challenges while delivering strong results,” American Axle CEO David Dauch said in a statement. “In addition to driving operational excellence and managing our cost structure, we continue to make strategic investments and establish technical partnerships to support the industry shift towards electrification.”