Have Plunging Big Rig Sales Doomed Navistar?

Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV) reported third-quarter fiscal 2016 results before markets opened Thursday. The heavy truck and engine maker reported a diluted net loss per share of $0.42 on revenues of $2.09 billion. In the same period a year ago, Navistar reported a loss of $0.34 per share on revenue of $2.54 billion. Third-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for earnings per share (EPS) of $0.14 and $2.18 billion in revenue.

The net loss totaled $34 million before adjustments of $36 million that included $19 million in pre-existing warranty charges and $17 million asset impairments. Excluding those items, adjusted EBITDA totaled $132 million, compared with adjusted EBITDA of $129 million in the third quarter of last year.

The revenue decline reflects lower volumes in Navistar’s core U.S. and Canadian markets, due to softer industry conditions primarily in the Class 8 (big rig) market. Sales of new trucks fell by 24% in the quarter and the segment’s net loss increased from $36 million in the year-ago quarter to $54 million. Truck sales make up about two-thirds of Navistar’s revenues.

Earlier this week the company announced a strategic alliance with the truck and bus division of Volkswagen, which included an investment of $256 million in exchange for 16.6% of the company.

Company President and CEO Troy A. Clarke said:

This quarter’s results show that we continue to make progress in the face of tougher market conditions, particularly in the heavy segment. As we pursue our goal of market share growth, we do see some encouraging signs in the area of order share, where year-to-date share of new orders continues to be up for the past three quarters. We are confident that as the industry works through its near term challenges, particularly in Class 8, our improvements in order share will translate to improved retail share as well.

As we noted in our report of VW’s investment in the company, big rig sales are down 56% compared with a year ago and not expected to improve much this year.

The company reiterated its full 2016 fiscal year revenue guidance of $8.2 billion to $8.6 billion. Adjusted EBITDA was also maintained at $550 million to $600 million. End-of-year manufacturing cash guidance of about $800 million was reiterated as well.

Shares closed down nearly 4% on Wednesday, at $19.02 in a 52-week range of $5.78 to $23.45. The stock was down nearly 8% in Thursday’s premarket at $17.55. Thomson Reuters had a consensus 12-month price target of $13.42 before results were announced.