American Axle raises 2002 earnings outlook

DETROIT, July 24 (Reuters) - American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings Inc. on Wednesday said it raised its 2002 profit target to $3 per share on expectations for annual North American light vehicle production of 16.1 million.

The automotive parts supplier, which makes axles and steering and suspension systems, previously forecast it would earn $2.85 per share in 2002.

The auto parts supplier also said tight cost controls, increased productivity and margin improvements would bolster 2002 profits and repeated its goal of generating more than $100 million in free positive cash flow for the full year.

American Axle earlier on Wednesday reported higher second-quarter net income on strong sales of light truck components to General Motors Corp. , its biggest customer.

Shares of American Axle fell 7 cents, or 0.33 percent, to $21.23 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.