– CAAS’s board of directors approved a share repurchase program of up to $5 million of its outstanding common shares periodically over the next 12 months –
WUHAN, China, April 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — China Automotive Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CAAS) ("CAAS" or the "Company"), a leading power steering components and systems supplier in China, today announced that its board of directors approved a share repurchase program of up to $5 million of its outstanding common shares periodically over the next 12 months. Repurchases will be made in open market transactions, at prevailing market prices not to exceed $4.00 per share through March 30, 2023, subject to applicable laws, regulations and approvals. The timing of the share repurchases will depend on a variety of factors, including market conditions. Members of the management team may make additional share purchases in addition to the Company repurchase.
Mr. Hanlin Chen, Chairman of CAAS, commented, "Our current stock valuation does not reflect our profitable 19.2% sales growth in 2021, our advances in technology and growing market position in global markets. We maintained our leadership position in the Chinese automobile steering market, and increased sales to global Tier-1 vehicle OEMs in North and South America and also penetrated European-branded vehicles such as Alfa Romeo’s first luxury plug-in-hybrid SUV. Our new subsidiary, Sweden’s Sentient AB, a world leader in steering and vehicle control software and hardware, will further enhance our technology especially for autonomous driving systems. In addition, we were the first Chinese company to develop electric power steering ("EPS") systems entirely in-house with the capabilities to integrate and communicate with a vehicle’s main data as part of our Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). EPS sales grew by 86.0% and represented 23.2% of total sales in 2021."
Mr. Qizhou Wu, chief executive officer of CAAS, commented, "We continue to develop new advanced products in both the hydraulic steering market and the EPS markets to add market share and capture new customers. Our Henglong subsidiary received the SGS TÜV ISO26262:2018 ASIL-D certification, the highest quality rating which is a testament to our research and development expertise and our ability to manufacture products."
Mr. Jie Li, chief financial officer of CAAS, commented, "Our stock’s market capitalization is well below our combined cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments, our working capital, our book value, and the valuations of a number of peer companies focused on multiple financial factors. The share repurchase commits our strong financial position to support shareholder value."
For the 2021 year, CAAS recorded net sales of $498.0 million with operating income of $5.5 million. Total cash and cash equivalents, pledged cash and short-term investments were $161.3 million, or approximately $5.23 per share, at December 31, 2021. Total parent company stockholders’ equity was $321.0 million. Net cash flow from operating activities was $28.3 million in 2021.
About China Automotive Systems, Inc.
Based in Hubei Province, the People’s Republic of China, China Automotive Systems, Inc. is a leading supplier of power steering components and systems to the Chinese automotive industry, operating through ten Sino-foreign joint ventures. The Company offers a full range of steering system parts for passenger automobiles and commercial vehicles. The Company currently offers four separate series of power steering with an annual production capacity of over 6 million sets of steering gears, columns and steering hoses. Its customer base is comprised of leading auto manufacturers, such as China FAW Group, Corp., Dongfeng Auto Group Co., Ltd., BYD Auto Company Limited, Beiqi Foton Motor Co., Ltd. and Chery Automobile Co., Ltd. in China, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Ford Motor Company in North America. For more information, please visit: http://www.caasauto.com.
This press release contains statements that are "forward-looking statements" as defined under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements represent our estimates and assumptions only as of the date of this press release. These forward-looking statements include statements regarding the qualitative and quantitative effects of the accounting errors, the periods involved, the nature of the Company’s review and any anticipated conclusions of the Company or its management and other statements that are not historical facts. Our actual results may differ materially from the results described in or anticipated by our forward-looking statements due to certain risks and uncertainties. As a result, the Company’s actual results could differ materially from those contained in these forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including those described under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company’s Form 10-K annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 30, 2021, and in documents subsequently filed by the Company from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. If the outbreak of COVID-19 is not effectively and timely controlled, our business operations and financial condition may be materially and adversely affected as a result of the deteriorating market outlook for automobile sales, the slowdown in regional and national economic growth, weakened liquidity and financial condition of our customers or other factors that we cannot foresee. Any of these factors and other factors beyond our control, could have an adverse effect on the overall business environment, cause uncertainties in the regions where we conduct business, cause our business to suffer in ways that we cannot predict and materially and adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations. A prolonged disruption or any further unforeseen delay in our operations of the manufacturing, delivery and assembly process within any of our production facilities could continue to result in delays in the shipment of products to our customers, increased costs and reduced revenue. We expressly disclaim any duty to provide updates to any forward-looking statements made in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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Chief Financial Officer
China Automotive Systems, Inc.