Navistar International Corporation (NAV)

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Navistar International (NAV)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

September 07, 2011 10:00 am ET

Executives

Heather Kos - Vice President of Investor Relations

Daniel Ustian - Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, President, Member of Executive Council, Chairman of Executive Committee, Chairman of International Truck & Engine Corporation, Chief Executive Officer of International Truck & Engine Corporation and President of International Truck & Engine Corporation

Unknown Executive -

Deepak Kapur - President of Truck Group - Navistar, Inc

John Allen -

Andrew Cederoth - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Analysts

Joseph Vruwink - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated

Jerry Revich - Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Ann Duignan - JP Morgan Chase & Co

J. B. Groh - D.A. Davidson & Co.

Brian Sponheimer - Gabelli & Company, Inc.

Seth Weber - RBC Capital Markets, LLC

Henry Kirn - UBS Investment Bank

Andrew Casey - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

Patrick Nolan - Deutsche Bank AG

Joel Tiss - Buckingham Research Group, Inc.

Timothy Denoyer - Wolfe Trahan & Co.

Presentation

Operator

Good morning, and welcome everyone to the Navistar International Corporation Third Quarter Earnings Release. Today's call is being recorded. And for opening remarks and introductions, I would like to turn the program over to the Vice President of Investor Relations and Financial Communications, Heather Kos. Please go ahead, ma'am.

Heather Kos

Thank you for joining us today. Before we begin, I'd like to cover a few items. A copy of this morning's press release and the presentation slides that we'll be using today have been posted on our Investor Relations website for your reference. The financial results presented here are on a GAAP basis and in some cases, on a non-GAAP basis. The non-GAAP financial measures discussed in this call are reconciled to the U.S. GAAP equivalent as part of the appendix in the slide deck. Finally, today's presentation includes some forward-looking statements about our expectations for future performance. Actual results could differ materially from those suggested by our comments made here. For additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in today's presentation, please refer to our most recent reports on Form 10-K and 10-Q and our other SEC filings. We would also refer you to the forward-looking statements and the other cautionary note disclaimers presented in today's material for more information on this subject.

And now I'm going to turn it over to Dan Ustian.

Daniel Ustian

Thanks, Heather. Now the agenda for today, if you would try to follow me through the slides, Slide 4 has -- we'll talk a little bit about the current truck environment, then we'll get specific on our third quarter results, the balance of this year. We'll talk about some items that would affect the future, and then A.J. will talk about return on capital.

So if you look at Slide 5, you can see that the trend in the industry has been, for the last 3 years, very difficult and encouraging going into 2011. The other 2 charts on here from the experts, FTR organization and ACT, show that, that trend for improvement should stay with us for quite some time now. That is the forecast. I think if you talk to others in the industry, they would give you some similar feelings to that. At the bottom of the page, bottom right, retail sales. Our estimate was, at the beginning of the year, industry demand would be 240,000 to 260,000 industry demand. And then today, we're saying the same thing, 240,000 to 260,000. A little change in mix, a little bit more on the medium side, a little bit less on the Class 8 side and much of that is really related to some supply constraints that we'll talk about in a little while.

We put on Slide 6 just some recent articles that were in Transport Topics that show that production rates are still strong. Freight is good. Freight rates are good. Again, all positive things that the industry will continue to grow.

Another factor in it is used truck. That's probably another indicator. There aren't very many used trucks out there, and the price of the ones that are out there have escalated quite substantially over the last year. And you can see, it's close to $35,000 for a 5-year-old sleeper today, about $10,000 to $15,000 higher than it was only a couple of years back. So used truck market is strong as well.

On Slide 8, for those of you that have followed the industry know we've had some supply constraints. And we would say, it's really not a matter of capacity. It's a matter of the rate of change. So if you look at where the industry was through the industry data, at the beginning of this year, we were about 200,000 annualized rate and the last 3 quarters are 264,000, so about a 30% increase in rate. If you look at the beginning to the end, it's more like 40% or 50% rate increase and the supply chain has not been able to adapt that quickly. On our side, it's even more acute. At the bottom of the page, these are other markets that are growth markets that are coming into play in 2011. We'll talk more about it. But Latin America shipments of trucks in 2010 were 3,000. This year, they're going to be 11,000, and it's back-end loaded. And of course, the Mexico industry is stronger, and we are entering South America. Our products are the same, basically the same and the components and the suppliers are basically the same in each one of these markets. So it's stressing our supply base.

If you look at Slide 9, commodity cost for the industry. We began charting these in 2009 and you can see from this that they're significantly higher than they were back then. I think you could also see that they've leveled off. And one particular note is steel, but you can look at all of these and they have flattened out. I also believe that these are priced now in the vehicles appropriately to capture the increase in commodity costs.

So in summary, the industry environment is what we expected, and I think it's what we're going to expect in 2012 as well, should be a little bit stronger. It should be at a rate similar to the rate that's going on right now. We're seeing a little change in mix. There's more fleet buy, less dealer buy, which means this little stress in pricing. And for us, we certainly anticipate it on the heavy side. I think the medium and severe are stressed probably a little bit more than what we had thought at the beginning of the year. I think the difference though is this, on the heavy side, that's going to stay that way. They're going to be concentrated on fleets. On the medium and the severe side, you're going to see this dealer volume pick back up as the economy picks back up so that -- I don't think that's a permanent swing. I think it's a short-term swing. We also believe that there's an opportunity for a highway bill, and I know many don't believe that, that will happen. I personally do. Over time, we'll get a highway bill, then be right in the core of the severe service business, which is a great business for us and for our industry. We've also said that commodity costs are high, but they're stable. And we believe that it's in the pricing of vehicles throughout the industry.

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