Magna International, Inc. (MGA) has reported a profit of $209 million or $1.83 per share (excluding special items) in the first quarter of 2010, in contrast to a loss of $200 million or $1.79 per share. The profit was significantly higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a profit of 79 cents per share.

Magna benefited from a recovery in light vehicle production (LVP) in its two principal markets, North America and Europe, as well as from restructuring actions, right-sizing and other cost reduction efforts. Due to these factors, revenues shot up 54% to $5.5 billion. Operating income was $285 million compared with an operating loss of $230 million in the first quarter of 2009.

Revenue from External Production Sales segment (which comprises three geographic regions — North America, Europe, and Rest of the World or ROW) advanced 67% to $4.73 billion.

External production sales in North America jumped 75% to $2.74 billion, reflecting a 67% increase in LVP and a 5% rise in average dollar content per vehicle in North America. External production sales in Europe swelled 53% to $1.76 billion, reflecting a 33% increase in European LVP combined with a 15% increase in European average dollar content per vehicle. External production sales in ROW more than doubled to $229 million from $108 million a year ago.

Sales in the Complete Vehicle Assembly segment escalated 11% to $446 million. Assembly volumes rose 49%. Sales in the Tooling, Engineering and Other segment slid 3% to $333 million.

In the quarter, cash flow from operations improved to $56 million from an outflow of $43 million in the first quarter of 2009 due to an increase in net income. Capital expenditures increased to $133 million from $96 million a year ago.

As of March 31, 2010, Magna had cash and cash equivalents of $1.4 billion. Long-term debt was $116 million as of that date. The long-term debt to capitalization ratio was as low as 1.5%.
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