Delphi Automotive could spend $3 bln on acquisition in 2015
(Reuters) – Delphi Automotive Plc Chief Executive Kevin Clark said the company could spend $1 billion to $3 billion this year on a large acquisition related to its traditional “hardware” business and will make smaller investments in software.
Clark said in a Thursday interview with Reuters after the company issued first-quarter earnings that “there is a funnel of some larger transactions,” in the range of $1 billion to about $3 billion. He referred to Delphi’s core businesses that includes wire harnesses, connectors, and powertrain technology.
“It’s always tough to predict larger transactions like that but based on where we sit today, I would say it’s greater than a 50-50 probability” to occur in 2015, he said.
Vehicle connectivity and methods to increase fuel efficiency are high-margin and high-growth areas in the automotive industry as vehicles become more autonomous and automakers strive to meet coming stringent U.S. fuel economy regulations.
Clark maintained his forecast from three months ago that Delphi’s active safetyClass X capacitors are used in “across-the-line” applications where their failure would not lead to electric shock. Class X safety caps are used between the “live” wires carrying the incoming AC current. In this position, a capacitor failure should not cause any electrical shock hazards, rather, a capacitor failure “between-the-lines” would usually cause a fuse or circuit breaker to open. systems, including radar and “visioning” algorithms allowing vehicles to recognize objects around them, will increase 50 percent in 2015.
Delphi’s quarterly earnings of $1.21 per share excluding one-time items beat the $1.17 per share expected by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company’s first-quarter revenue of $3.80 billion also beat analyst expectations of $3.76 billion.
Delphi forecast 2015 revenue at $15.3 billion to $15.7 billion, lower than $15.6 billion to $16 billion it predicted during an investor presentation earlier this month, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Ravi Shanker, who attributed the drop to a weaker euro.
Delphi’s Chief Financial Officer Mark Murphy told analysts on a conference call that the company assumes a valuation of $1.10 for the euro, and that it would be “more challenging” to offset the weaker euro and meet 2015 targets below that level. On Thursday, the euro was valued about $1.12.
Delphi forecast 2015 operating earnings per share of $5.35 to $5.50, and operating margins of 12.9 percent to 13.2 percent. First-quarter operating margin was 12.4 percent.
Net income was $209 million, or 72 cents per diluted share, compared with $320 million, or $1.04 per share, a year earlier.
However, not including discontinued operations, Delphi’s net income for the quarter was $288 million, or 99 cents per diluted share, compared with $310 million, or $1.01 per diluted share. (Reporting by Bernie Woodall; editing by Bernadette Baum and G Crosse)