Standard Motor Products reported earnings from continuing operations of $0.4 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2009 ending 12/31/09. The company lost $5.5 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, in the same quarter in 2008.

Standard Motor Products also showed an improvement for 2009 results, reporting earnings from continuing operations of $5.9 million, or $0.31 per diluted share, for the year. In 2008, the company reported a loss from continuing operations of $21.1 million, or $1.14 per diluted share.

Management attributed the improved showing to new contracts in several business lines, and a healthy aftermarket for automotive parts. The company also said that business trends year to date in 2010 were running ahead of the same period of 2009.

“We are pleased with our results, both for the fourth quarter and the full year 2009. For the second quarter in a row, sales were ahead of the comparable quarter in 2008,” said Lawrence I. Sills.

Standard Motor Products also improved its balance sheet at the end of 2009, boosting cash to $10.6 million from $6.6 million at the end of 2008. Total debt was reduced from $192 million at 12/31/08 to $75 million at 12/31/09.