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Shares of American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. Plunge After Growth Disappears

By Daniel Miller - Jan 13, 2016 at 3:27PM

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Despite new-vehicle sales setting record highs in 2015, the industry can't shake a rough couple of weeks as many auto stocks continue trading lower.

What: The automotive industry continues to trudge through a two-week house of pain that has seen a large number of manufacturers, dealership groups and suppliers all decline. American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings (AXL 0.00%), a tier-one global automotive supplier of driveline and drivetrain systems and components, is trading more than 16% lower as of 3:00 p.m. ET.

So what: American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) presented at the Deutsche Bank Global Automotive Conference today, and its guidance for full-year results, as well as its 2016 outlook, failed to impress investors looking for growth.

AAM forecasts its full-year 2015 and 2016 sales to respectfully check in at about $3.9 billion and $4 billion, which falls slightly short of estimates calling for $3.93 billion and $4.17 billion. Also, 2015's sales would be a meager 5% gain over 2014, compared to 2014's 15% gain over the prior-year results -- emphasizing a definite slowdown in revenue growth. AAM also expects its 2015 EBITDA margin to check in between 14.5% to 14.75% of sales, and free cash flow to check in between $185 million to $190 million for the full year.

Now what: Looking forward, investors hoping for growth were disappointed in the company's 2016 guidance, which looks to be more of the same, at best. AAM expects its 2016 full year of sales to be roughly $4 billion, with the same EBITDA margin as last year, but a decline in free cash flow to be between $120 million to $140 million in 2016.

Ultimately, AAM is going to have to prove to investors it can generate incremental revenue outside of the U.S., and outside of GM, or run its operations more efficiently to help boost its financial performance -- and today, AAM did little to convince investors.

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.

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