UPDATE 2-Magna stock hits record high as profit beats, outlook raised

Fri May 10, 2013 3:18pm EDT
 
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* Sales rose 9 percent to $8.36 billion

* 2013 sales outlook raised to between $32.6 bln and $34 bln

* North American production sales up 3 pct; 5 pct in Europe

* Shares rise as much as 5.1 pct (Recasts, adds details on sales and share buy-back, adds analyst comment and market reaction)

By Solarina Ho

TORONTO, May 10 (Reuters) - Magna International Inc shares hit a record high on Friday as the Canadian auto parts maker hiked its full-year sales forecasts after posting a better-than-expected profit and a 9 percent rise in revenue in the first quarter.

Aurora, Ontario-based Magna credited rebounding North American auto demand and increased revenue from Europe, where its sales rose even though the industry overall has been hurt by lower production.

Magna's fortunes are closely linked to the health of the U.S. vehicle market and Detroit's Big Three - Ford Motor Co , General Motors Co and Fiat SpA's Chrysler .

The automakers have seen a steady recovery since the industry bottomed in 2008 and 2009 with bankruptcies by GM and Chrysler.   Continued...