Truck and engine manufacturer Navistar International Corp. on Thursday reported its net loss grew during its fiscal first quarter compared to a year ago, but one top official insisted the company is headed in a positive direction.

The net loss totaled $73 million, or 74 cents per share, for the three months ending on Jan. 31, compared a net loss of $62 million, or 76 cents per share, a year earlier. The latest results include $46 million of charges as a result of the company's debt refinancing in Nov. 2017.

Revenues in the quarter were $1.9 billion, a 15% increase compared to $1.7 billion in the first quarter last year, driven by a 24% increase in the company's core market (Class 6-8 trucks and buses in the U.S. and Canada), according to Navistar.

First quarter 2018 EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) was $55 million, compared to first quarter 2017 EBITDA of $63 million. First quarter 2018 includes $49 million in net adjustments, including the debt refinancing and other items. Adjusted EBITDA was $104 million versus $55 million in first quarter 2017.

"We are off to a strong start in 2018 thanks to our ability to grow Navistar's position in a strengthening market," said Troy A. Clarke, chairman, president and CEO. "We grew our Class 8 market share and improved our margins, on the way to delivering our best first quarter on an adjusted EBITDA basis since 2011."

Navistar's first quarter core chargeouts (trucks that have been invoiced to customers, with units held in dealer inventory) were up 2,400 units year-over-year led by Class 8, which was up 56% compared to first quarter last year.

The company's Class 8 market share was up 1.2 points versus the same period one year ago.

Navistar’s truck segment first quarter 2018 net sales increased to $1.3 billion, primarily due to higher volumes in the company's core markets, an increase in military sales, and production of GM-branded units manufactured at Navistar's Springfield, Ohio plant, which launched in the second quarter of 2017. This was partially offset by a decline in the company's Mexico and export truck volumes.     

The truck segment loss was $7 million in the first quarter 2018, versus a loss of $69 million in the same period one year ago. The improvement was primarily driven by the impact of higher volumes in the company's core markets, a decrease in used truck losses, and an increase in military sales, partially offset by higher structural costs.

In the first quarter of 2018, the parts segment net sales were $568 million, slightly lower than the prior year primarily due to the expected runoff in Blue Diamond Parts (BDP) sales, partially offset by higher U.S. and Canada parts sales related to the Fleetrite and ReNEWed brands.

The parts segment profit was $137 million, down 8%, primarily due to lower BDP margins and higher freight-related expenses.

The global operations segment saw net sales increase 62% in the first quarter, totaling $81 million, primarily driven by higher engine volumes in the company's South America engine operations due to improvement in the Brazilian economy.

For the first quarter 2018, the global operations segment loss was $7 million versus a $4 million loss in the first quarter 2017. Higher engine volumes and a benefit recognized as an adjustment to restructuring charges only partially offset a one-time benefit in the first quarter of 2017 of $9 million related to an adjustment to pre-existing warranties.

In the first quarter of 2018, the financial services segment net revenues increased to $59 million primarily due to higher portfolio yields, higher overall finance receivable balances in Mexico and favorable movements in foreign currency exchange rates impacting the company's Mexican portfolio. Its profit increased to $20 million primarily due to a decrease in the provision for loan losses in Mexico and improved interest margins.

Based on stronger industry conditions, Navistar raised its 2018 full-year guidance:

  • Retail deliveries of Class 6-8 trucks and buses in the U.s. and Canada are forecast to be in the range of 360,000 units to 390,000 units, with Class 8 retail deliveries of 235,000 to 265,000 units.
  • Revenues are expected to be between $9.25 billion and $9.75 billion.
  • Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be between $700 million and $750 million.
  • Year-end manufacturing cash is expected to be about $1.1 billion.

"We expect market conditions to remain robust and we are determined to take advantage of opportunities to grow share while delivering strong margin performance," Clarke said. "Given the progress made in first quarter, and our positive outlook for the remainder of the year, we are confident that 2018 will be the breakout year for Navistar."

Originally posted on Trucking Info

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Evan Lockridge

Evan Lockridge

Former Business Contributing Editor

Trucking journalist since 1990, in the news business since early ‘80s.

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