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What: Shares of Magna International (NYSE:MGA), a leading global automotive supplier with 285 manufacturing operations in 29 countries, slid 12% lower in early Thursday trading after it reported a disappointing third quarter.

So what: Magna posted a 7% sales decline to $7.7 billion during the third quarter, with the strong dollar creating headwinds for the company's results. In fact, because of foreign currency translation, the company's sales were negatively affected by about $870 million; excluding that impact, sales increased by 3% compared to last year. However, Magna's earnings per share, before special items, checked in at $0.97, which was $0.12 below analyst estimates and $0.18 below last year's third-quarter result, according to Morningstar. 

The silver lining for investors was that Magna said it would buy back up to 40 million of its common shares, which is almost 10% of its outstanding shares, over the next 12 months. 

Now what: While it was certainly a disappointing third-quarter result for investors, and currency headwinds are likely to remain during the near term, Magna is still an intriguing investment. That's because the company is one of the largest automotive parts suppliers on the planet and it has an extensive lineup of products to offer automakers.

Because of its large size and diversified product portfolio, Magna remains well poised to benefit from Detroit automakers -- the company generates roughly half of its revenue in North America -- as manufacturers continue to use more parts across multiple vehicle platforms and focus on narrowing their list of suppliers. 

Daniel Miller has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.