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Dana swings to loss in fourth quarter, backs guidance for 2018

Fourth quarter loss is tempered by rises in sales and improved sales backlog for 2018-2020 period due to new business wins
Engine Machinery
Dana Inc paid US$189mln in tax compared to a previous year credit of US$490mln

Dana Inc (NYSE:DAN) reported an unexpected swing to a loss for the fourth quarter, primarily as a result of a US$186mln one-time, non-cash charge due to the US tax reform.

The provider of performance enhancement solutions for powered vehicles and machinery reported a disappointing quarterly loss of US$104mln, or 74 US cents a diluted share. The loss upended analysts' forecasts, which predicted a US$79mln profit, and compared unfavourably with a profit of US$485mln, or $3.34 a diluted share, during the same period last year.

Sales backlog improves 

The company's tax charge in the quarter was US$189mln, compared with a credit of US$490mln previously.

Adjusted underlying earnings (Ebitda) rose to US$197mln, fairly in line with analysts' predictions of US$200mln, compared with US$166mln for the last quarter of 2016.

Sales rose to US$1.84bln, up from US$1.45bln, beating analysts' predictions of US$1.79bln.

The company said it expects sales for 2018 to be between US$7.5bln and US$7.7bln, with an adjusted EBITDA of US$910mln to US$960mln as guided on January 17.

Adjusted diluted earnings are forecast to be between US$2.60 and US$2.90 per share.

The company also reiterated that its 2018-2020 sales backlog at the end of 2017 had improved to US$800mln, driven by new business wins.

Jonathan Collins, the executive vice-president and chief financial officer of Dana, said:  "Our outstanding financial performance in 2017 – driven by organic and inorganic sales growth of 24% combined with strong profit margin, cash flow generation, and progressively higher 2018 expectations – has solidified our trajectory toward achieving our long-term targets”.

Market reaction to the news has not been positive so far, with Dana shares currently down 4.2% to US$28.97.

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