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American Axle and Manufacturing Inc. (AXL - Analyst Report) announced that it has invested $100 million in the Three Rivers Manufacturing Facility located in Three Rivers, MI. With the investment, the company will install new product lines, multiple assembly stations, modify the paint line and thus refurbish the business offices and lobby of the facility. It also plans to enhance the shipping and capacity of the plant.

The investment will likely generate about 500 new jobs by the end of the year. It will also benefit the company by diversifying the product portfolio and customer base in North America.

During full year 2012, the company has invested around $50 million and created about 300 jobs in MI. This investment was made for technologically advanced machining and R&D laboratory equipments, as well as for improvement of IT infrastructure. The company also plans for further investment in this region.

American Axle is a leading supplier of driveline systems, modules and components for the light vehicles market. The company makes axles, driveshafts and chassis components for light trucks, sport utility vehicles and passenger cars. It retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

American Axle reported a profit of $5.2 million or 7 cents per share in the third quarter of 2012, down significantly by 86% from $38.3 million or 50 cents in the year-ago quarter. The company’s profit also considerably lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 27 cents.

The company’s revenues increased 8.5% year over year to $702.9 million during the quarter and surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $692.0 million. Higher sales volume and improved business diversification based on global launch activity had favorable impacts on the company’s results. However, complexity of the new products, process and facility launches, and lower capacity utilization had negative impact on the result.

Commercial Vehicle Group Inc. (CVGI - Snapshot Report), Oshkosh Corporation (OSK - Snapshot Report) and Strattec Security (STRT - Snapshot Report) with Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) are performing well in the same industry where American Axle operates.

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