October 29, 2009 / 9:10 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 2-Harman posts narrower-than-expected Q1 loss; shares up

* Q1 loss/shr $0.14 vs loss/shr est $0.23

* Q1 rev beats estimates

* Toyota selects Harman in Europe

* Shares rise 9 pct after-market (Adds CEO comment, background)

By S. John Tilak

BANGALORE, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Harman International Industries Inc HAR.N posted a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss as it benefited from aggressive cost-cutting initiatives and market share gains, sending its shares up 9 percent.

The audio products company, whose brands include Harman Kardon, JBL, Mark Levinson and Infinity, also returned to positive operating income, excluding non-recurring items.

“For our company, the leading financial indicators are sound and improving,” Chief Executive Dinesh Paliwal said in an interview with Reuters.

Harman’s core business is in sales of equipment such as sound and navigation systems to the automotive industry, which has been hurt by the economic downturn.

“We have gone through some real cleansing of the organization,” he said, referring to the restructuring measures the company is undertaking to reduce costs.

The company also said Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) has selected its infotainment products for the Japanese car maker’s vehicles sold in Europe, beginning 2011.

Harman posted a first-quarter net loss of $9.5 million, or 14 cents a share, compared with a profit of $21 million, or 36 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding items, it lost 5 cents a share. [ID:nWNAB7051]

Revenue at the company, fell 13 percent to $757.4 million.

Analysts on average expected a loss of 23 cents a share, excluding exceptional items, on revenue of $693.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Harman shares rose $3 to $36 in trading after the bell. They closed at $33 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by S. John Tilak in Bangalore; Editing by Pradeep Kurup, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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