Truck and engine maker Navistar International reported a wider first quarter loss than expected on Wednesday amid slower sales.
For the period ending Jan. 31 the net loss totaled $248 million, or $3.05 per share, compared to a first quarter 2013 net loss of $123 million, or $1.53 per share. Revenues in the quarter were $2.2 billion, down from $2.6 billion in the first quarter of 2013.
Analysts polled by Bloomberg were forecasting a consensus loss of $149 million with revenue of $2.66 billion.
Lower sales volumes, primarily due to the company's medium-duty emissions strategy transition from exhaust gas recirculation technology to selective catalytic reduction technology, along with lower military sales, drove the decline.
"We signaled that this would be a tough quarter due to our mid-range product transition, the ongoing reduced sales in our military business, and because the first quarter, historically, represents the weakest operational period of the year for us. Given all this, we are encouraged we hit our cash and adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) guidance," said Troy A. Clarke, Navistar's president and chief executive officer. "Clearly, we have more hard work to do to rebuild our market share and further reduce our costs, but we continue to make progress...and we feel we're off to a solid start in 2014."
As part of its engine restructuring efforts it announced plans last month to consolidate mid-range engine manufacturing into its Melrose Park, Ill., engine plant. Once completed later this summer, these actions, which include idling the Huntsville, Ala., mid-range engine plant, are expected to reduce Navistar's operating costs by more than $22 million annually, according to the company.
Navistar says it will add selective catalytic reduction emissions technology to its high horsepower inline six-cylinder engine platforms to complement the recent launch of the Cummins ISB. The company is already taking orders with deliveries scheduled for this summer.
"These actions will help us deliver on one of our biggest opportunities—reclaiming our market position in medium-duty and bus, which historically have been important businesses for us and our dealers," Clarke said. As we fully launch our mid-range SCR portfolio in the coming months and complete this phase of our engine restructuring, we anticipate we will improve our financial performance throughout 2014."
For the first quarter 2014, Navistar’s North America truck segment recorded a loss of $207 million, compared with a year-ago first quarter loss of $101 million while its North America parts segment recorded a profit of $104 million, compared with a year-ago first quarter profit of $117 million.
During the same time its financial services segment recorded a profit of $23 million, comparable to first quarter 2013 profit of $22 million, while its global operations recorded a loss of $33 million, compared with a year-ago first quarter loss of $10 million.