When is a profit not a profit? When it's the result of bankruptcy prevention measures, like Visteon's report of a $2 million profit during the first quarter of 2009. The auto supplier is reporting that each share earned two cents during the period, compared to a $105 million loss last year. The company's books saw a gain after sending its British operations into Chapter 11, an occurrence that will not be repeated. The one-time nature of the accounting measures doesn't bode well for the next three months, but Visteon also points out that its sales force has been able to secure $240 million of new work between January and March. Despite the new business, Visteon's full-year outlook isn't so rosy, and will likely be down again for 2009.

In unrelated but similar news, fellow Tier-1 supplier Delphi logged a $556-million profit in the first quarter, a number reportedly generated largely by a maneuver that saw them shave $1.2 billion in health care benefits for retired salaried workers. The bankrupt company posted profits of 98 cents per share, but it simultaneously reported that business to General Motors (by far its biggest client) fell by half, and the company posted a 52% quarterly sales drop (to $2.5 billion) as a result.

[Sources: Detroit Free Press]