Navistar reports 1Q loss on weaker sales

By Dow Jones Newswires-Wall Street Journal
Posted March 9 at 6:09 a.m.

Navistar International Corp. reported a fiscal-first-quarter loss as results weakened at each of the commercial-truck maker’s main manufacturing segments. Still, Chairman and Chief Executive Daniel C. Ustian said encouraging industry trends should push full-year earnings to the high end of its previously projected guidance of $5 to $6 a share.

“We believe industry volumes should be at the higher end of our range. Military revenue will approach $2 billion, global volumes are expanding and so far we have contained challenges in commodity costs,” Ustian said.

For the quarter ended Jan. 31, Navistar reported a loss of $6 million, or eight cents a share, compared with a prior-year profit of $19 million, or 26 cents. Excluding integration costs and a prior-year benefit, adjusted profit rose to 16 cents from three cents. Revenue fell 2.3 percent to $2.74 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently estimated per-share earnings of 23 cents on revenue of $2.9 billion.

The company’s truck segment, its largest by revenue, posted an 8.6 percent lower profit, while earnings at the parts segment fell 29 percent. The engine segment swung to a loss.

Navistar’s performance has improved in recent quarters thanks to prior cost cutting. Demand for medium and heavy trucks also has been recovering from a sales slump that began in 2007.

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