* Third-quarter sales rise 6.3 pct
* Stronach says to focus on political career in Austria
* Magna modestly raises 2012 sales outlook
Nov 8 (Reuters) - Magna International Inc, one of the world's biggest auto parts manufacturers, said third-quarter profit nearly quadrupled on gains related to its purchase of the minority stake in its electric car business.
The company also said its founder Frank Stronach had stepped down from the board, effective immediately, to focus on activities outside the automotive industry.
"One of these activities involves politics in Austria and I do not want my political views to be confused with my role on Magna's board," Stronach said in a statement.
Net income attributable to Magna rose to $390 million, or $1.66 per share, from $102 million, or 42 cents per share, a year earlier.
The company, which also assembles complete vehicles, said sales rose 6.3 percent to $7.41 billion.
Analysts, on average, had expected earnings of $1.02 a share and revenue of $7.0 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Magna slightly raised its 2012 sales outlook to between $30.3 billion to $31.2 billion from a forecast made last quarter of between $29 billion and $30.5 billion. It kept its 2012 operating margin forecast in the "low to mid 5 percent range".
Magna's stock is up 32 percent year-to-date. It closed at C$44.45 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday, down 1.2 percent.